Well structured film on the beauty of being 17. The realism of living the teen year is extra ordinary and incredible. It’s not only a fun rollercoaster. It not only teaches a lesson but how life at those years are not only wonderful but fun in its own way. The movie is truth, honesty and realistic. The Edge of Seventeen hits a point in all of our lives good or bad. A girls life and choices at this age are not only vulnerable but also harsh in the reality of high school and it’s life’s steps to adulthood. The obstacles of life at early ages of transition are not only amazing but strange in its ways. This movie highlights the simplicity to the complicated levels and it’s not only great it’s perfectly put together. This is a film that should be exhibited in classrooms and talked about in all schools.this is a form of education and all ages from freshmen to senior citizens will love the lessons. This can be watched more than once. Until next time-Only the bad shall fear my name.Honest coming-of-age flicks with strong females in the lead are hard to come by. We get the Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Spectacular Now, and The Way Way Back, all fantastic films, but with a male protagonist. In enters The Edge of Seventeen, a bracingly honest teen film guided by a wholly likable and charismatic Hailee Steinfeld in the lead. While the film follows many staples of the genre it overall rings with a pleasant familiarity and it is honest about many uncomfortable truths many high schoolers and even college students and adults face. The script pierces with its sharp insight into relationships and family dynamic and gives vital character development to the often underwritten best friend and brother roles. In the end, The Edge of Seventeen goes to some predictable places, but it is grounded in such a non-pretentious realness that everything clicks and it bristles with intimacy and charming performances. This film could join classics like Mean Girls, Easy A and the aforementioned coming-of-age flicks that will be watched by many an angsty teen.
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There is a short list of high school films that can grasp and accurately depict the pain, anguish and heartache of the teenage experience: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” the works of John Hughes, “Mean Girls,” “Easy A.”
Add “The Edge of Seventeen” to that prestigious list. Writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig and star Hailee Steinfeld team up for the decade’s best teenage movie, a funny, touching, gutting rumination on modern teenage life in America.
Steinfeld, a knockout at age 14 in the Coen Brothers’ “True Grit” (and a charter member of Taylor Swift’s #Squad), is transcendent as Nadine Byrd, an 11th-grader who has a roof over her head and clothes in her closet, but whose life is otherwise in shambles. Her father died several years ago and she’s still dealing with the loss, though she mainly uses it now as an excuse to try to weasel out of homework assignments.
Like most teenage girls she’s constantly at the throat of her exhausted mother Mona (Kyra Sedgwick) and she can’t stand her jocky, cocky older brother Darian (Blake Jenner of “Everybody Wants Some!”) and his too-tight T-shirts. When her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) falls for Darian it’s a blatant stab to the heart, a betrayal of the highest order, akin to treason.
And that’s the jist of “Edge of Seventeen.” Craig’s not dealing with acts of terrorism or world issues. But her script is empathetic and universal enough to know that to a teen, these are apocalyptic problems. It’s not that Steinfeld’s Nadine is self-centered (although she is), but these people — her friends, her family, her classmates — are her entire world, and she can’t escape the feeling that her universe is collapsing around her.
Nadine is far from a saint: She’s petty, dramatic and unapologetic. But that only makes the film feel more real, and “The Edge of Seventeen” reaches a level of authenticity that few films, teenage or otherwise, are capable of achieving.
Craig has an ear for dialogue and the sarcastic, cutting raunch that permeates teenage language. The script is “Juno”-sharp, minus the kitschy, pained slang (“honest to blog!”) that rendered that film an instant time capsule.
Steinfeld is stunning as the lead in a role that’s alternately heartfelt and hilarious; she’s the center of the film and the movie is unthinkable without her, the same way Alicia Silverstone was essential to “Clueless.”
She is helped along by an outstanding supporting cast which includes newcomer Hayden Szeto as Erwin, Nadine’s classmate who harbors a sizable crush on her, and Woody Harrelson, who is as good as he has ever been as Mr. Bruner, Nadine’s history teacher and confidant. Bruner is wise, kind, forgiving and fatherly, and Harrelson brings a warmth to this wry cynic that makes his character live and breathe.
“Edge of Seventeen” is produced by James L. Brooks, the genius who has put his human stamp on projects ranging from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to “The Simpsons” to “Broadcast News” and “As Good As It Gets.” “The Edge of Seventeen” is his first film project in years, and it’s worthy of his name; it carries his grace and elegance throughout.
But Craig deserves credit above all else. Like Amy Heckerling before her, she simply gets teens, which is such a difficult feat that even most teens don’t manage to pull it off. She has compassion for and insight into the teenage experience and she treats it with an understanding that lifts the film above its contemporaries.
“Edge of Seventeen” is something special. To see it is to remember what it’s like to be 17, and to be grateful you’re not 17 anymore.
Hailee Steinfeld became a child star to watch in “True Grit,” and delivers on that promise in “The Edge of Seventeen,” a coming-of-age movie that owes a debt to John Hughes films but establishes its own voice for the selfie-and-sexting generation.
There’s nothing particularly distinctive or new about writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig’s take (working with veteran producer James L. Brooks) on one very surly, confused young girl. Steinfeld’s Nadine lost her father at a young age and has mostly been making life hell ever since for her frazzled mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and older brother (Blake Jenner), who is perfect and popular in a way Nadine finds utterly revolting.
Nadine has survived her teens thanks largely to her closeness with one friend (Haley Lu Richardson), whose crush on her brother suddenly complicates their relationship. Much of Nadine’s angst, meanwhile, is unloaded in protracted, breathless bursts on a teacher (a very funny Woody Harrelson) who does all he can to create the appearance of being completely unconcerned, but who obviously cares more than he lets on.
Craig hasn’t exactly sought to reinvent the wheel. Indeed, the basic description and tone in some respects echoes the 1990s TV drama “My So-Called Life,” as Nadine lashes out in predictable ways. Those include pining for a mysterious, slightly dangerous classmate and befriending a nerdy one (Hayden Szeto), while, in her self-absorption, ignoring his obvious if awkwardly expressed feelings for her.
Still, it’s all played sensitively enough, as Steinfeld — a 19-year-old actress clearly on the edge of stardom — conveys her character’s emotional tumult and self-pity without becoming as annoying as teenage protagonists often are, or as Harrelson’s teacher likes to pretend that she is.
“Maybe nobody likes you,” he deadpans when Nadine barges into his classroom and starts complaining.
“Edge of Seventeen” might wind up as a mere footnote to Steinfeld’s career, but it represents a significant transition from her debut to its next phase. Beyond proving that she was no one-trick pony, if this sort of work continues, one suspects a lot of people are going to like her.
In the grand scheme of things, losing a trusted friendship is a painful blow, but it usually isn’t the end of the world. If you’re an unpopular teenager, however, and the interloper is a sibling, it can feel like that.
The personal nightmare of Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), the embattled heroine of Kelly Fremon Craig’s smart, achingly bittersweet comedy, “The Edge of Seventeen” begins the night of a sleepover with her only close friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), whom she catches in bed with her older brother, Darian (Blake Jenner, of “Everybody Wants Some!!”). Because Darian is the high school golden boy who could have anyone he wants, the discovery feels like a betrayal as sharp as a knife in the heart.
After a cursory attempt at harmony in which the sweethearts invite Nadine to join them at a party, then abandon her to play beer pong, she insists Krista choose between them. When Krista refuses, Nadine banishes her from her life and spends much of the rest of the movie in a state of acute anguish and rage.
Ms. Steinfeld, who played Mattie Ross in the Coen brothers’ remake of “True Grit,” doesn’t shy away from venting her fury by answering any criticism with the most scorching insults she can muster. She manages a tricky balancing act, making Nadine simultaneously sympathetic and dislikable.
If “The Edge of Seventeen” were a run-of-the-mill high school melodrama, Krista would be revealed as a selfish, scheming vixen and Darian as an arrogant jerk. But they are smart, sensitive people who care about Nadine. Krista, with her sunny temperament and gentle disposition, has been the light of Nadine’s life since they were children, while Darian has assumed the role of a surrogate patriarch since the death of their father, Tom (Eric Keenleyside), from a heart attack.
Without the jolly, kindhearted Tom, whom Nadine adored, as a buffer, she has no protection from her lonely, frazzled mother, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick), with whom she continually clashes. Their strife is such that they nearly come to blows. Mona has her own problems, among them a frustrating search for love with internet dates who turn out to be deceitful cads.
Nadine’s closest thing to a confidant is her history teacher, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson, in top form), who has a knack for deflating her grandiosity with sardonic humor. (In their first scene together, she announces she is committing suicide.) Their banter is one of the movie’s chief delights. Nadine’s cutting remarks about his partial baldness and presumably meager salary are intended to wound, but he brushes them off.
To call “The Edge of Seventeen” one of the best films about high school kids in 25 years isn’t to say it’s a masterpiece. In its raw honesty, it barely begins to approach Marielle Heller’s far tougher, more realistic “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” whose sexually curious 15-year-old title character entices her mother’s boyfriend into a clandestine affair. But it can hold its own against “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Clueless” and other movies that have raised the bar on teenage movies.
As Nadine flails, she is ardently pursued by Erwin (Hayden Szeto), a handsome, polite Korean-American classmate and aspiring animator from a wealthy family and the only character who isn’t white. She is more interested in hooking up with Nick (Alexander Calvert), a wily dreamboat to whom she accidentally sends a sexually explicit text message. It is to the film’s enormous credit that her mistake doesn’t embroil Nadine in a humiliating sexting scandal.
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Except for Nadine, the teenagers in “The Edge of Seventeen” are nice, wholesome boys and girls living the Southern California dream that looks mighty tempting for those who can afford it.