Charlize Theron, who received a tribute at the Gotham Independent Movie Awards in New York, shows why she was honored in “Young Adult,” a film she carries from start to finish.

The comedy-drama is directed by Jason Reitman, who teams up with screenwriter Diablo Cody for the movie. They previously worked together on the quirky 2007 Oscar winning film, “Juno.”

Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who never quite got over high school.

She returns to her small town looking to relive her glory days only to find that the past isn’t very easily recaptured, or relived.

Playing grotesque figures seems to bring out the best in Theron. She won best actress for her portrayal of a serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 thriller “Monster.”

She doesn’t go quite that far in “Young Adult,” but her character is just as emotionally depraved.

Gary simply is an overbearing asshole, the “psychotic bitch prom queen,” who in many ways, has yet to grow up.

She’s intent on hooking up with a former lover who is now happily married (Patrick Wilson), but ends up bonding with another former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either, but for different reasons.

Theron, who also stars in “Snow White and the Huntsman,” explained the character this way:

“It’s easy to say someone’s an as*hole because they had this, this and this happen to them, so we have to forgive them. But what if someone was just an as*hole? That’s interesting to me,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.

The film opens for a limited release Dec. 9 and goes into wider release Dec. 16th. Check out the trailers.

One sports a red band, mainly because of coarse language. The other has been approved for all audiences.