25 November 2016 | paul-allaer
Watch it for Hailee Steinfeld's performance
"The Edge of Seventeen" (2016 release; 104 min.) brings the story of Nadine, a 17 yr. old junior at Lakewood HS. As the movie opens, Nadine is racing the school's hallways to meet with her favorite teacher and tell him "I'm going to kill myself!" The movie then goes back in time to see how we get to this point. After a short look at "Nadine, Age 7" and "Nadine, age 13", where we learn how socially awkward things are for Nadine, but for her strong friendship with her BFF Krista. That brings us to "Nadine, 17". At this point we're less than 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this movie is the directing debut for writer Kelly Fremon Craig (who wrote 2009's "Post Grad"). Here, Craig takes another shot at bringing the social awkwardness of being in high school and trying to survive all of the pressures that come with it. When was the last time that I've seen such an awkward teenager, who blurts out "I'm seeing myself and I can't stand it. I gotta spend the rest of my life with myself!". So nothing original here as such, except of course that Nadine is played by none other than Hailee Steinfeld, yes the little girl who was nominated of an Oscar in 2010 for "True Grit" is now grown up into a wonderful young lady which bunches of acting talent. Steinfeld basically carries the movie on her back, and is in virtually every single scene. There is some terrific support from Kyra Sedwick as Nadine's mom and Woody Harrelson as Nadine's teacher, but believe me when I say this is all about Hailee Steinfeld. Last but not least, the movie has a TON of great songs in it (check out the soundtrack).
"The Edge of Seventeen" opened nationally this past weekend. The Sunday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great (about 10 people in the entire theater). This movie has not gotten a big marketing push, and it remains to be seen whether it will benefit from strong word-of-mouth. I quite enjoyed it for what it was, a strong vehicle for leading actress Hailee Steinfeld, even if the territory she explores here has been done before and doesn't offer all that much new. If you get a chance to check it out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, I'd suggest you do and draw your own conclusion.