The Edge of Seventeen

"Very Good"

The Edge of Seventeen Review


An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters, breathing new life into the genre. First-time director Kelly Fremon Craig (who previously wrote the rom-com Post Grad) has created an involving film about a teenaged girl who is easy to identify with. The script may try too hard to explain away all of her darker emotions, but it's sharp and entertaining.

Hailee Steinfeld stars as Nadine, a 17-year-old in Portland, Oregon. On the fringe of the popular kids at school, she feels like a loser who doesn't deserve to live. And she can't cope with the fact that her best pal Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) has fallen for her irritatingly popular big brother Darian (Blake Jenner). It certainly doesn't help that her mother Mona (Kyra Sedgwick) is an emotional wreck, or that Nadine is being pursued by the class nerd Erwin (Hayden Szeto), because she's much more interested in bad boy Nick (Alexander Calvert). In need of someone to talk to, she turns to her grouchy history teacher Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson), who refuses to indulge in her angst. But he's also the only person who actually listens to her.

Steinfeld is terrific in the role, bringing an endearing raw authenticity to a character who isn't hugely likeable. As Nadine ruthlessly insults everyone around her, Steinfeld quietly reveals the sensitive soul inside, which adds a blast of complexity to her scenes with the superbly restrained Harrelson, Sedgwick and Jenner. All of these relationships are difficult and often startlingly realistic, as is the depiction of high school peer pressure. As Nadine's classmates, Richardson has a wonderfully twisty role as her childhood bestie who has apparently betrayed her trust, while Szeto steals his scenes as the hilariously awkward Erwin.

There are elements here that don't ring quite true, such as the attempt to justify Nadine's personal issues as the result a major family event a few years earlier. This seems oddly simplistic, especially since Darian, who's just one year older, seems unaffected. That said, the family dynamic is far more realistic than most movies about adolescence. And the story plays out with a nicely autobiographical feel to it, avoiding melodrama and the usual movie structure to say something deeper and more resonant. As a filmmaker, Craig has a refreshingly no-nonsense approach that gives the movie a strong edge, appropriately enough. It's also a vivid reminder that no matter how bleak life looks, we should never give up hope.

Watch the trailer for The Edge Of Seventeen:



The Edge of Seventeen

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th November 2016

Distributed by: Gracie Films

Production compaines: STX Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Producer: , Kelly Fremon Craig, ,

Starring: as Nadine Byrd, as Mr. Bruner, as Mona Byrd, Haley Lu Richardson as Krista, as Darian Byrd, Hayden Szeto as Erwin Kim, Laine MacNeil as TCBY Girl, as Jeannie, Alexander Calvert as Nick Mossman, Eric Keenleyside as Tom, Nesta Cooper as Shannon, Lina Renna as Little Nadine, Christian Michael Cooper as Little Darian, Ava Grace Cooper as Little Krista, Jena Skodje as Little Mean Girl, Daniel Bacon as Film Festival Emcee

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