“The Edge of Seventeen” is directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who wrote Post Grad which was released back in 2009 and this is her first time directing a movie. This film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2, True Grit), Woody Harrelson (Cheers, No Country for Old Men), Blake Jenner (Glee, Supergirl), Haley Lu Richardson, Kyra Sedgwick, and Hayden Szeto. This film is about a teenage girl named Nadine and it is established in the beginning of the movie that her life is already bad, but what she didn’t realize is that it is gonna go from bad to worse, and it doesn’t end there. Why? The main chunk of this movie is dedicated to her having to deal with her asshole brother, who starts going out with her best friend, and she feels that she is mentally going into a black hole throughout the entire movie and there is no way out except for when she has lunch in the classroom with Woody Harrelson.
Here is something I feel the need to get out of the way, if you have seen some of my older reviews from this year you may have noticed that the movies I saw with women playing the starring roles were mostly negative in my opinion. These movies included titles like: “The 5th Wave” (2/10), “The Divergent Series: Alligiant” (I didn’t review it, but I gave it a 2/10), “Mother’s Day” (Also didn’t review, but I gave it a 1/10), “The Girl on the Train” (2/10), “Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens” (1/10, but you’d probably expect that out of a movie like this), and the “Ghostbusters” remake (1/10). Based on these statistics, you’d probably think I’m a sexist pig, especially with the last one. Let me just assure you I’m not. If you have read my reviews for these movies you may notice that I dislike them for reasons that don’t link to sexism in any way. So how do I feel about this movie? I feel this movie might be the one of the better movies I saw all year! If you want to know my official verdict for the film, scroll down a bit, but I had to get this out because I felt it was necessary so you know the real me.
This movie stars Hailee Steinfeld who plays Nadine. Let me just say right now, this is one of the best performances I’ve seen all year. Will this get nominated for an Oscar? I highly doubt it considering Hailee is only a teenager and teens aren’t the first category you scour for Oscar nominees, but if this performance does get nominated, that’d be pretty cool. She really brings a lot of emotion into her character, especially during one scene at her mother’s office which was pretty funny and when talking one-on-one with Woody Harrelson. Her character is also a stereotype per se of some folks I see in my high school and on social media. I will not give out any names but I thought I’d point that out. Also when I say stereotype, I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean that in a way that can get certain people just like her to relate to the character without getting offended.
Nadine’s best friend in this film is played by Haley Lu Richardson and her name is Krista. At the beginning of the movie it was very nice to see these two as friends and see how the relationship developed. Not too much later in the movie Krista dated Nadine’s older brother and I was able to understand how all of the characters felt about the situation. I didn’t agree with how all the characters felt, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t understand them.
Speaking of Nadine’s older brother, let’s talk about Nadine’s older brother. At the beginning of the movie it was shown that this character was basically a winner compared to Nadine and it the movie doesn’t stop sticking to that route to further develop the story. To establish this, the movie showed his character never really complained or cared about any of the tragedies that Nadine experienced throughout the film. He even says to Nadine that life sucks sometimes, which is probably gonna stick with me for a little bit. Maybe not as much as Dennis Leary’s “Life’s Gonna Suck When You Grow Up” song, but still, it’s locked in my head and it probably will stay in my head for an extended period of time.
One of the characters that was shown most throughout the trailer I saw for this movie was Mr. Bruner played by Woody Harrelson. I thought the scenes where he talked with Nadine one-on-one were some of the best parts of the movie, which surprised me because in the trailer it looked like one of the parts of the movie that was going to end up feeling stale. However I will say that the “avoid run on sentences joke” he gives did actually end up feeling stale. Maybe it’s just because I saw the trailer multiple times and that was one of the big things I remember from the trailer. These conversation scenes felt like I was actually there, and one of the lines Mr. Bruner says to Nadine during a “therapy session” is “Maybe nobody likes you.” That just made me go, “Wow.” I thought it was a great line and now if some therapist told me that I would be able to handle it. I’d recommend that they’d do it in a quiet voice so I don’t have too much stress in my head but I digress.
I also like the woman who plays the mother in this movie (Kyra Sedgwick). One of the things I noticed about her is that she hates driving Nadine to school because it affects her work schedule. After watching this movie, I am kinda wondering about that with my mother. My mother drives me to school and I don’t take the bus, and for personal reasons I prefer to avoid taking the bus to and from school. I have sensitive ears and that can interfere with the ride and make me feel anxious or angry.
One of the best things about this movie is the fact that it is rated R. Why? Because that makes the movie seem more realistic. Remember Freaks and Geeks? That TV show about a bunch of different high schoolers all in one show? I have not seen every episode of that show, but I have seen a couple. If you just take the vibe of that show, have it focus around one character for most of the time, and make it more mature, than you get this movie. I love how this movie goes for things you usually wouldn’t expect to see teenagers do in some movies. There’s a scene where the main character and her best friend get drunk, there’s a lot more swearing than you’d expect in a movie that spends a lot of time in a high school setting, there’s a lot of sexual humor used by teenagers in this movie. Some of this humor used by teens which I greatly recall include use of the words “handjob” and “tits.” And let me say for the record, Hailee Steinfeld, the movie’s lead actress is currently 19, and she’ll turn 20 on December 11th, so that kind of adds a bit to the movie as well in terms of realism. This movie is called “The Edge of Seventeen” and in a world where we have two live-action movie interpretations of Peter Parker played by adults (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield), it’s nice to see someone play a teenager played by someone relatively close to the character’s actual age.
“The Edge of Seventeen” is one of the better films I’ve seen all year, and certainly deserves all the praise it is getting by critics and average moviegoers alike. While I am writing this, this film has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it certainly deserves that. By the way, I mentioned once before that this movie is directed by someone who is a first time director, AKA Kelly Fernon Craig, and for a movie that is a directorial debut, this is fantastic. I’m going to give “The Edge of Seventeen” an 8/10. Well guys, the year is almost over, we have just a bit more than a month to go, and I’d like to announce to you right now at the end of year I’m going to be doing a top best and worst movie of year list. I haven’t decided whether I’m doing a top 5 or a top 10, but we’ll find out as time marches on. Also for all of you reading this on the day which this is published, which is November 27th, 2016, I am willing to bet that you are either a movie buff or even if you don’t like movies, you may have some place in your heart for Star Wars, which leads me to this: TICKETS FOR THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE GO ON SALE TOMORROW! If you want to see this movie in theaters, I recommend that you all get your tickets as soon as possible, especially if you want to see it as early as possible or want to avoid spoilers (Although it is a prequel so I doubt it is as big of an issue as The Force Awakens). Also I want to let everyone know that I plan to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on premiere day, which is Thursday, December 15th, that way I can get an early review up for you guys, and this is just fine for me, because I hate when people ruin movies for me, and I feel since it is a Star Wars movie, it is going to be a bigger deal in my mind. Anyways, hope you enjoyed this review and stay tuned for more reviews! Scene Before is your click, to the flicks!