High School is tricky to navigate. Perhaps even more difficult is making an honest film set in the world of high school. It can be done, and we have writer-director Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” to offer as proof. He elegantly adapts his novel of the same name in this quietly potent film. Chbosky focuses on a teenage group grappling with that remarkable period when life is crowded with so many firsts. He has assembled a uniformly top-drawer cast. Each performance is imbued with full dimension and a deep understanding of this combustible time, all delivered without a trace of irony or comment. His remarkable lead, Logan Lerman, navigates us through this maze with complete dexterity. Chbosky confronts his characters with moments that catapult them out of childhood — and they are assuredly handled with truth and compassion. I did not think I would be so glad to feel all of that beautiful mess again. Thank you, Mr. Chbosky.
Thomas Kail helmed “In the Heights,” for which he received a Tony nomination.