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Shailene Woodley’s finest performance yet is her portrayal of Hazel, the 18-year-old cancer patient in “The Fault in Our Stars,” whom she imbues with her particular brand of vitality, beauty and an unshakable sense of entitlement.

Based on John Green’s best-selling novel of the same name, “The Fault” combines teenage love with girlish fantasy but manages to avoid becoming corny, which is an accomplishment worth praising.

Other girls have their whole lives in front of them but Hazel may die soon, meaning she’s exonerated from all the stuff that weighs girls down and clips their wings. College? Nope. Career? Nah. SNS? Boring. Boyfriend? Well, maybe.

The Fault in Our Stars (Kitto, Hoshino Seijanai)
Rating
Director Josh Boone
Language English
Opens Feb. 20

When Hazel meets Gus (Ansel Elgort) at a cancer support event, her first instinct is to back away after he tries to woo her. Eventually, though, she finds the courage to seize the day with him, and takes off to Amsterdam to look up her favorite author (Willem Dafoe), visit Anne Frank’s house and reconnect in their conviction that life is beautiful in its present moment and must be cradled like a treasure. Sometimes, contrary to what George Bernard Shaw said, youth isn’t wasted on the young at all.

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