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.Written by
On the morning of the film festival, an exterior shot shows only Nadine's mother's car in the driveway. When Nadine comes downstairs, Darian and Krista are there, despite Darian's car not being in the driveway. See more »
Look I don't wanna take up a ton of your time, but I'm gonna kill myself. I just thought someone should know. I don't really know how this works. I'm probably gonna jump off an overpass in front of a semi, so... Or U-Haul, maybe, just not a bus. I'm not gonna be a dick and make people watch, but it has to be big; it's gotta be so big that it just...
[snaps her fingers]
Done; kills me. Lights out. 'Cause if it just maims me, and I'm like...
[imitates differently abled person]
Well then ...
[...] See more »
Written by Gary Kemp
Performed by Spandau Ballet
Courtesy of Parlophone Records Ltd
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more »
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.
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