The Perks of Being a Wallflower

            As the Oscars are being handed out tonight, as Lincoln and Argo and Silver Linings Playbook snap up the little gold guy who has no cock or balls, I’ll still be on a high from having experienced far and away my favorite movie of 2012: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

            There have been those in my life who have convinced themselves that as a film historian and critic I take too analytical a perspective – that I don’t get sucked up into movies the way, say, they do. The ridiculousness of this charge would be clear had any of these folks been in my living room with me this afternoon. Rarely have I burst into such intense, wrenching tears during a film as I did today. I was utterly blown away.

            It’s about a fucked up kid, see, who wants to be a writer. He’s growing up outside of Pittsburgh, and he reads books like On the Road and Catcher in the Rye, and Walden, and To Kill a Mockingbird. His friends are fellow misfits. He counts every day of school because he so desperately wants to be gone. His English teacher understands him and encourages him and gives him his own copies of books to read, and he reads them despite the shitty girl who sits next to him in class and calls him “jag off.” He gets high and says hilarious things that surprise everybody because he’s otherwise so quiet. His spirit soars when he goes through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and gets blasted by the shockingly beautiful lights of the city when the tunnel ends. There is hope after all - freeing, erotic, living hope.

            I haven’t related so powerfully to a movie and watched with such raw emotion since Night of the Living Dead.