Nadine (Hailee Steinfield) is having a tough enough time getting through high school. When her best friend starts dating her older brother, Nadine’s world gets turned on its ear.
The trailers for Edge of Seventeen have all been hilarious. The brief moments we see between Steinfield and Woody Harrelson are really funny. It seems like that teacher student dynamic will be the heart and soul of this film. I hope they didn’t give away all the good bits in the trailer, like some comedies do.
The Edge of Seventeen is a true to life story about adolescence before it’s a comedy. It’s one of the best coming of age films in recent memory. Kelly Craig writes and directs the high school interactions in such a real way. She pulls no punches in the script. The kids talk like they do now a days and that was refreshing. Sometimes a female director makes the main female characters such a heroine, and the guys are just dumb. That isn’t even remotely the case here. The guys are portrayed in the same realistic light as the women.
The performances here are brilliant. Hailee Steinfield is one of my favorite young actresses in Hollywood, and she doss an awards worthy job here. Your heart breaks for Nadine. Whether you can relate to her character’s struggles or you just feel horrible for her from the outside looking in. Everyone can feel this girls pain. You’ve sat alone at lunch, felt isolated, and that the world is working specifically against you. Steinfield comes across so genuine. I loved her performance.
The supporting cast is solid as well. Woody Harrelson plays Mr. Bruner, a teacher and confidant of Nadine. He’s the cool teacher and you know he cares deeply about his students. The relationship between Nadine and Bruner is a really touching one. You enjoy the banter that they share. The relationship between Darian (Blake Jenner) and Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) exists in the film to give Nadine that one last nudge over the deep end. At least that’s what it felt like to me. It gave Nadine a reason to dig down deep and find herself, and it works in that regard. Jenner and Richardson do a great job, they show their love for Nadine, but don’t want it to weigh down their relationship. You really want them to all get back on the same page for her sake. You care that deeply about these characters.
Edge of Seventeen has the chance to become one of those transcendent coming of age films. There isn’t something as true to the teenagers of today. Steinfield is magnetic in the role, and she deserves all the recognition she gets for this film.