In last year’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ezra Miller played Tilda Swinton’s demonic offspring. His evil glances and soulless detachment in no way prepare you to his vibrant turn as Patrick in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In fact, you might even wonder if you’re indeed seeing the same actor. Essentially what Miller proves in Stephen Chbosky’s film is that he’s not just a pretty guy with killer bone structure. His turn in Kevin seemed like a dress rehearsal for a high fashion photoshoot (“be serious”, “fishface”, “wicked, mysterious smile”) but his performance here is so full of life that the viewer becomes truly swept up in the magic and romance of the film.
His Patrick is the kind of charming creature you imagine yourself falling in love with from the very first time you saw him on the school hallway. Ironically he plays a “loser”, other characters call him “Nothing”, but his rebelliousness and charm make the camera and our eyes be drawn to him at all moments. He has one of the film’s most touching scenes (and this one’s quite the emotional flick) but his greatest feat is that you will leave the movie thinking you too knew him in high school.
The Boston Society of Film Critics surprisingly anointed him as the Best Supporting Actor of 2012, but the only “surprising” thing about this award is that people actually “felt” the need to reward work from a “teen film”. An Oscar nomination for Miller would prove that people dare to think outside the box and what is slowly turning into one of the most boring races this season, Miller could inject the race with much needed freshness.