Painfully shy Logan Lerman grapples with his first year of high school in 1991 Pittsburgh.

Still fragile following a period of mental turmoil after the suicide of his best friend, Lerman shrinks back from school life until a pair of nonconformist seniors, stepsiblings Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, befriend him and encourage him to bloom.

This is a familiar enough coming-of-age story, written and directed by Stephen Chbosky from his own bestseller, but it’s made fresh by the charismatic performances and warm heart.

Lerman convincingly negotiates his character’s highs and lows, Miller is entrancing as the flamboyant eccentric and Watson makes her character a worthy crush-object for Lerman.

Chbosky lays on the childhood trauma a bit thickly, but brilliantly conveys the joyful release teenagers feel on finding themselves and their soul-mate peers.