The Edge of Seventeen

(2016)

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Title:
The Edge of Seventeen
Release Date:
18th November 2016
Runtime:
102 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Kelly Fremon Craig
Writers:
Kelly Fremon Craig
Languages:
N/A
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 86%
IMDb Rating 8.0

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by cultfilmfan 19th November, 2016

The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen, I am pleased to say is a little film that came out of nowhere and not only did it far exceed all my expectations, but it turns out as of now to be one of my favourite films of 2016, if not my favourite film of the year and yes, it is that good. Within the first little while of the film I really was not expecting much as this seemed like another version of 2007's Juno, where you have a highly educated and yet very socially awkward teenager who has a very large vocabulary and speaks probably different than the grammar and language skills that most teenagers at that age possess. Unless of course you happen to be Ellen Page in the film Juno, which for the first while of the film I felt this could be a more adult oriented brother, or sister film to, which I was really hoping it was not. Nothing wrong with the film Juno per se, but I have already seen that before and was hoping not for an exact carbon copy of it. Thankfully as I gave the film time, it really ended up surprising me and I would say it is just as good as Juno, or as my initial reaction was that this film may even surpass that. This is a film that conveys beautifully and by beautifully I mean it is so true and honest about what an awkward and sometimes absolutely loathsome time both high school and one's teenage years could be. The film shows our main character Nadine, who is here played by Hailee Steinfeld, who I have not seen in anything since the Coen Brothers' 2010 remake of True Grit, but here she delivers what I think is so far my favourite female performance of 2016 in a role that is not just a cookie cutter outline of what we think teenagers in movies are supposed to act and behave like, but this film and Steinfeld's performance goes much deeper than that. The film truly shows that as teenagers we have a lot of growing that we do and not just in size and shape with our bodies. One's adolescent years often accompany many different changes in our lives from things going on in our own families, to things with friends inside and out of school and I am sure that some teenagers have home lives that are even more volatile and dysfunctional than anything that we can dream up for a movie and even getting out of bed for them in the morning to face a new day can be that challenging. Nadine, has had several setbacks, or difficult situations that have all occurred within a very short period of time. Most of these as with most changes in life, have nothing to do with any fault, or blame on her behalf, but still dealing with these things proves to be more than difficult for her. Because of this, Nadine chooses to lash out at the world and has in general a very negative and pessimistic outlook on life. We see her make so many bad and regretful decisions simply because she is unhappy and looking for any and everything to fill that emptiness and void in her life which she thinks she can fill by being rebellious and her own boss, but it will ultimately lead her to more trouble until what she needs is a good wake up call and some decent people who actually care for her, to step in and show her that people do actually care about her and that she has more than enough potential and so many wonderful qualities about her, if she would only let people see them. Steinfeld's performance can be extremely humorous at times because of Nadine's neurotic whims and quirks, but we also see her pain and suffering and her anger at the world which is portrayed here with so much emotion and depth that it is as I said this year's best female performance so far and hopefully one that is not ignored come awards time. Equally good here in a much different role is Woody Harrelson, as a teacher who becomes a pal and almost one to confide in for Nadine, who is more empathetic and caring to her needs than what he lets on. It is a humorous performance, but one played so well that at times it also shows a beautiful side to it of caring and just being the kind of great teacher that we all so badly deserve in high school. The Edge of Seventeen has wonderful teenage characters and it's depiction of not only them, but also of the parents and adults in this film is so spot on and accurate that it has not been this perceptive, or good probably since Todd Solondz's film Welcome to the Dollhouse, which is another great and accurate film of the pains of high school. This film has wisdom beyond what it shows and is a great showcase for this up and coming director and is a film that teenagers will not only relate to as well as adults and anyone who has even been in high school for a little while. One of the most intelligent and astute films in awhile and also so far this year's best.

Reviewed by rgkarim 19th November, 2016

Edge of Seventeen will not keep you on the edge of your seat. But Represents the Culture Well

Teenage years can be tough, but with generation gaps one may not understand the new morals and traditions the modern era establishes. Enter Hollywood, who may help bridge the gap by making a movie to hopefully shed some accurate light on the subject. This brings me to my review this morning, Edge of Seventeen, a coming of age film starring Hailee Steinfield, Woody Harrelson, and a slew of other actors. Robbie K here, bringing you another movie review, so let's get started. LIKES: • Realistic portrayal of teens • Witty comical writing • Good moral lesson If you want a realistic movie, then Edge of Seventeen is for you. It dumps special effects and original tales for a better portrayal of the culture around you. This film drops you into the life of a "typical" teenager and all the drama that comes with the hormonal changes of those trying years. One will get to see the concepts of sex, relationships, family, and self-worth as you follow Nadine's journey into growing up. Those who are ticked off by today's morals need to skip this film, but those with an open mind may enjoy the psychology involved with the decisions made by youths. While I'm certainly no teenager, I felt this movie did a nice job representing the turmoil some youths feel, primarily in the social pressures established from trying to grow up too quickly. Fortunately, the movie isn't just about portraying the different morals of teenagers, but instead tries to teach lessons about life. While preachy at points, the movie does a nice job illustrating that the everyone has troubles we all must deal with. Nadine brings a lot of teenage angst and rebellion under the guise of life sucks, without realizing others may be suffering just as much. And the screenplay writers do a bang up job teaching her, and hopefully the audience, important lessons about empathy, open minded thinking, and not relying on social media to rule your life. Two thumbs up in my book. While the realism brings about a lot of drama, cause let's face it the modern world is a bunch of drama, it also brings about very intelligent writing. Edge of Seventeen has plenty of meme worthy faces and one-liners, the comedy as a whole is quite witty. Steinfield's lines, while simplistic, are timed well as she delivers them with emotional affect needed. Hayden Setzo as the geeky Erwin, brings the awkward teenager character to life, equipped with nervous stuttering and awkward moments that are truly entertaining. The biggest source of laughs come in the form of Woody Harrelson as the mentor/uninterested teacher whose sarcasm and insults are the definition of intelligent writing. All of this provides a bunch of laughs, or at least chuckles. DISLIKES: • Slow at times • Nadine is quite annoying Yes, this is a common complaint of mine in films like this, but hear me out. I and some of the other audience members, found the Edge of Seventeen a tad slow at parts of this movie. Nadine's journey to growing up gets a tad repetitive at times, adding some unnecessary moments that could have been left for the director's cut. Some of the repetitive drama points or seeing her crying on screen were emotional yes, but sometime unnecessary and helped trim some time off the film. And because of the sad, somewhat depressing tone of the movie the film dragged at a bit at times as well, especially when there were few positive moments to relieve the negativity. Yes, I get this is the point and the perspective most teenagers take, but Hollywood magic would have been welcome here. And as for Nadine, never have I both enjoyed and loathed a character on screen at once. Being a teenager can be rough, but this character crossed the border to annoyingly crazy a fair number of times in the movie. Whether it was the whiny element to her voice, the whimsical use of the F bomb, or perhaps the repetitive complaints of the problem, there was always something irritating about this character. Eventually other characters were introduced to help temper these moments, but some of the extreme brat like behavior, and how blind she was to it, was a little over the top at times. Maybe this is how teenagers act and maybe it isn't, but the team could have designed a little more balance to Nadine in my honest opinion. The VEREDICT: The Edge of Seventeen is certainly an artistic movie worthy of some attention for realistic portrayals of a culture and some grade A acting chemistry. Witty writing and relevant references make this film an enjoyable piece of work for many and the morals add a teaching element for future classroom movie days. Yet the pace could have used some picking up and the annoying primary character need some fine tuning to help smooth out the rough edges of the movie of this otherwise predictable tale. Nevertheless, this movie has the potential for nominations, and could be good for some to visit the theaters. Yet I suggest skipping this film for the theaters and holding out for Netflix/Redbox for viewing pleasures. My scores: Comedy/Drama: 8.0 Movie Overall: 7.0

Reviewed by Thomas Drufke 18th November, 2016

Fresh, Endearing, and Funny

I can't say that I expected to see this movie opening weekend, or at all for that matter. But I'm glad I did. The Edge of Seventeen is an awkwardly charming coming of age tale that flirts in the same vein as some classic John Hughes 80's flicks. I think all of us have been keeping an eye on Hailee Steinfeld since True Grit in 2010. When you can steal scenery from the likes of Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin, you know you have someone special. The Edge of Seventeen is an entirely different genre and obstacle for Steinfeld, however. I almost think that the coming-of- age-teenage-angst-comedy-drama's are the most difficult films to reach a broad audience, perhaps even more so than westerns. I usually need something to hook me before I spend money on one of these, and that came by way of Woody Harrelson. Harrelson play's Steinfeld's teacher and common companion at lunch when there's no one else to sit with. The brilliant thing about this relationship is that its neither too dramatic nor too goofy, the writers find a nice balance between gut busting laughs on Harrelson's end to a nice dramatic payoff in the latter half. For all the cliches that this film inevitably has, this relationship was something very refreshing and served as the highlights for most of the film. Nadine (Steinfeld) has several issues with her mother, brother, and best friend to figure out throughout the course of the film. But it was pleasing to see that the writers didn't choose to make any one character in the right or wrong. I constantly felt like I was playing out both sides in my head as to who I believe had the right to be mad at the other or vice versa. Being in a family of 7, I can definitely relate to some of the family obstacles Nadine goes through, and it wasn't Hollywoodized just for the sake of pushing the plot forward. There's unfortunately quite a few cliched tropes that this film ends up taking you toward, but it felt more natural than most of these types of films. This could be attributed to the welcomed R rating the film received. It isn't for everyone, and I wouldn't even consider myself the target audience. But it speaks to larger personal and family issues than the trailer sets up. It's also one of the best Woody Harrelson performances I've seen recently, even if he is probably as reserved as he's ever been. +Steinfeld carries this film +With the help of the hilarious Harrelson +Writing -Inevitably some cliches and predictable plot points 8.0/10

Reviewed by vtoivon2 2nd November, 2016

Can seventeen be that bad?

Remember all those teen movies about how much fun it is to be a teenager? Porky's, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, all those American Pie movies and movies that spend an inordinate amount of time at the beach, to name a few. These are typical teenage movies. The Edge of Seventeen is not a typical teenage movie, and that is what makes it so great. Oh, there have been other great non-typical teenage films of late, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but somehow Seventeen stands alone. Perhaps it is the intense and thoroughly committed performance of Hailee Steinfeld who started her film career under the tutelage of the Cohn Brothers in their remake of True Grit (oh yeah, and was nominated for an Oscar at the age of 14, although principle filming occurred while she was 13). Hailee so captures the angst of Nadine, whose name alone sets her apart, (Nadine was the most common name given to baby girls in 1958); that one cannot help but ache for her. Nadine carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and believes herself to be unlike any of the other kids who text each other about the tacos they're eating, and communicate in emojis. She plays well alongside her favorite teacher, portrayed cheekily by Woody Harrelson who provides some of the best laughs in the film, as one might expect. Also of note, I think, is the quirky, lovable and downright cute performance of Hayden Szeto as Erwin. Erwin sits next to Nadine in class stumbling and bumbling his way through awkward repartee in the hopes of some sort of hook-up. But nothing is typical here, and the course that said repartee takes leads us into uncharted teen territory. It might also be interesting to note that the name Erwin was the most common baby name in 1918, which makes this Erwin an old soul, to be sure. Kelly Fremon Craig has written a real gem here, and his first directing effort will earn him much critical acclaim, to be sure. The thing he does masterfully is take us inside the character of Nadine by giving us so many moments alone with her; moments when we experience in her stillness, in her eyes, and in her facial discipline as an actress the absolute bankruptcy of her isolation. None of us would want to be seventeen again, or ever; at least not her seventeen. I am grateful to the studio, and to the Marcus Corporation for giving some of us movie lovers an opportunity to pre-screen this film that will be released on November 18th. I suppose they hope we will say good things about it and get others to go see the film. Well, go see the film. You will laugh, and you will need a few tissues, but you will not regret having spent a few hours walking in Nadine's shoes. Perhaps there is a little Nadine in all of us after all.

Reviewed by Devin Harvey 28th October, 2016

Top Shelf For This Genre

As a fan of the "coming of age" story structure, I am happy to report that this film met my expectations in every single way. Some key plot points were predictable, but the writing, performances and soundtrack were all on point. The emotions and experiences the film conveys do not feel artificial, and Hailee Steinfeld shines! Intelligent writing and little twists here and there will likely leave you genuinely invested in the life of these characters and leave you wanting more. Woody Harrelson plays a wonderful image of a teacher dealing with his life amidst high school drama and Kyra Sedgwick's performance as a struggling mother was especially heart felt and real. This is not to be missed for fans of this genre!