The Edge of Seventeen: Film Review

I had no idea what The Edge of Seventeen would be about but I love Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson and high school-based dramas/comedies so I had to check it out and it turned out to be one of the smartest, boldest films in that genre. I was so impressed.

Steinfeld plays Nadine, an overly dramatic, talkative high schooler with no friends, no lust for life and a seriously depressive streak. Both her and her mum (Kyra Sedgwick) are still struggling to cope following the death of her dad and her life takes her turn for the worse when her best and only friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) begins dating her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner).

This is a coming-of-age tale so is basically about way more than the summary would suggest, such as Nadine trying to pursue the bad boy Nick (Alexander Calvert), trying to make new friends with Erwin (Hayden Szeto), hanging out with her teacher Mr. Bruner (Harrelson) and just trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be.

I didn’t instantly love the story or warm to the characters and Nadine might not be instantly likeable – she is mean, treats people horribly and she’s just so down – but she’s the most complex character I’ve seen in these types of films in recent years. She isn’t a stereotype at all, she has so many different layers and personalities, which is very accurate. You soon get behind her and want her to work it all out. Even the supporting characters are well rounded such as her brother and her mother.

This made me laugh a ton and also brought me to tears – there were some fantastic scenes and moments of dialogue that I just want to see again because they were so damn good, such as one emotional, powerful speech, her intimate encounter with Nick or every moment with Erwin.

The performances were on point. Steinfeld navigated the ever-changing moods of Nadine and Sedgwick played a hopeless mother who pins everything on her ‘perfect’ son and doesn’t know how to handle her daughter. Jenner was the best I have ever seen him and I want to see more of Szeto and Richardson, who I never seen before.

This is bold, edgy, grown-up (definitely not PG-13, lots of swearing) and refreshing and manages to balance a complicated mix of drama and laughs. Can I see it again please?

In cinemas Wednesday 30th November

Comments

  1. Great review. Unfortunately, although I enjoyed the movie, I was less than impressed. It just didn’t offer anything new to me that I hadn’t seen on screen before :\

    • Hannah Wales says:

      Thanks for your comment. It’s interesting to read different opinions! I’m surprised it didn’t offer anything to you because it felt fresh to me. I know it’s not massively original but it didn’t feel like it was copying other films to me.

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