The inexplicable adolescent roller coaster we all go through is often difficult to articulate on screen without including the dull, stereotypical norms of peer pressure to smoke, drink, and have sex. But writer/director Shunji Iwai finds a more unique youthful voice for his new feature All About Lily Chou-Chou. He aptly mixes current culture with an anxious boredom that creates a powerful story, even if it can be difficult to watch.

The 2 1/2 hour journey is based on the path of Yuichi (Hayato Ichihara) and takes place over the course of several years. Being average and shy, he is the frequent object of bullying. He lives with his pregnant mother, her boyfriend, and the boyfriend's son. As both adults work to support the family, Yuichi is left to his own devices often, as are most of his peers, which can be dangerous during an age when you are usually trying to get away with as much as possible.

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