The Edge of Seventeen
Talent: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Woody Harrelson
The Edge of Seventeen is a generic but strong high school picture. Nadine (Steinfeld) is alone in the dog-eat-dog world of American education save for her best (and only) buddy Krista (Richardson) and her sparring partner, Mr. Bruner, a sarcastic history teacher played by Woody Harrelson. Nadine’s world is turned upside down when Krista begins to develop feelings for Nadine’s athletic older brother, Darian (Jenner). The girls fall out and Nadine is left to do some soul-searching, to figure out who she is and what she wants.
Despite the “been there, done that” familiarity of the premise and execution there’s still something charming about the low stakes/high stakes drama of Nadine’s life. Everything is monumental to her, everything is life and death; you can’t help but smile at the enormity of every situation. There’s a knowingness to the picture that distinguishes it from the high school crowd. Steinfeld is also excellent, she gives a natural and convincing performance that makes us feel for Nadine, even when she’s a total meanie.
Words – Luke Maxwell