Title – The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Director – Kelly Fremon Craig (feature debut)
Cast – Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick, Woody Harrelson
Plot – Life of teenage high school student Nadine (Steinfeld) gets that little bit tougher when her best and only friend Krista (Richardson) starts dating her older and more popular brother Darian (Jenner).
“There are two types of people in the world: The people who naturally excel at life. And the people who hope all those people die in a big explosion”
Review by Eddie on 21/08/2017
Ah, if only you could be 17 again.
The joys of not having to worry about much more than homework, hanging out with friends and genuinely having a good time, being 17 is a breeze right?
We all know that’s not exactly the case, sure many of us so called “adults” wouldn’t back away from an opportunity to be relatively care free and 17 again, but entering into the often harsh world of adulthood, as the grown up world creeps up ever so surely on us isn’t entirely the smooth sailing ride we all wish it was.
Well documented in countless teen movies over the years, from full blown comedy too far more serious in tone events, covering that awkward age between teenage life and impending adulthood isn’t a new thing to do in movies by any means but debut director Kelly Fremon Craig’s likeable and believable coming of age dramedy The Edge of Seventeen brings enough heart and soul to the table with sprinklings of nice originality, that this easy to digest event is easily one of the better pictures on the topic in recent times.
Spearheaded by another impressive turn from Hailee Steinfeld (in arguably her best role since her breakout in the True Grit remake), Edge see’s Steinfeld’s complicated and in many ways hard done by Nadine try and keep her head above water as her best friend dates her brother and various other trials threaten to get the best of her and with clever writing from Craig and a feeling of genuine heart and some very observant wit, Edge is a step above others in its class.
There are some heavy issues spoken about and dealt with within the film, enough that it may even make viewing uncomfortable for some but Craig should be commended for not shirking away from these hot topic issues like depression/technology and with Steinfeld on good form and the likes of Woody Harrelson (playing extremely tolerant teacher Mr. Bruner) and Kyra Sedgewick as Nadine’s single mother Mona only help but bring the film’s tough moments home.
Where Edge falls down curiously is within Nadine the character.
A tough one to get on board with, Nadine’s needy and often irrational behaviour isn’t always endearing (perhaps that’s the point?) and had Nadine been a more consistently tolerable core to the film, its highly likely that this slice of teenage life could’ve easily entered into the classics of the genre and while not game breaking, Nadine’s whining and bad manners don’t come across as earnt most of the time.
Final Say –
The Edge of Seventeen is a film that all of us could relate to in some way or another and this darkly funny and occasionally touching film that includes some noteworthy performances and a winning script is worth seeking out, even if Nadine herself isn’t exactly someone we’d want to spend too much more time with.
This is a highly polished debut film from Kelly Fremon Craig that marks her down as a talent to keep a very close eye on.
3 ½ cookies out of 5