In a New Yorker profile of filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By the Sea), Rebecca Mead calls attention to Lonergan's interest in depicting the lives of teens, manifest especially in his film Margaret. In Margaret, the lead character, named Lisa, not Margaret, “is, at different points, self-assured, vulnerable, furious, arch, questing, cynical. She adopts different emotional costumes, for fun and for effect, but at any given moment she is behaving with complete sincerity.”

“You can just see the framework a little better with a teen-ager,” Lonergan tells Mead. “Grownups are more settled into who they are going to be and what their place in the world is. Teen-agers are kind of poking around and trying different ways of being, ways of acting. There is something about it that I find very interesting and touching, and also funny.”

He adds: “being a kid and caring that much but also putting on a little performance at the same time. . . . This is why teen-agers are so annoying to older people, but also why older people—or most of us—seem so tame in our passions and our desires and our generosity. Teen-agers have that kind of freshness to the world. They just want to wipe out racism, for example. And you are just, like, ‘You are never going to do that. Just go to a restaurant instead.’ Who is right in that conversation?”

It's a valuable perspective to parents who might be exasperated by those almost-humans who inhabit our homes.