The Edge of Seventeen tells the story of high-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother.
Yes, as I write this review I am listening to the Fleetwood Mac song of the same name. It’s one of my favourite songs by the band.
I first heard about this film quite late in the game as it wasn’t as heavily advertised amongst other films released around the same time. Or maybe it was just released at a time where the new Star Wars instalment was something that people would be talking about instead of this indie gem. The Edge of Seventeen kind of reminds me of The Perks of Being A Wallflower where its a film that stands alone amongst other films that represent the teenage life in a darker tone and ultimately relate to what a lot of teens are increasingly feeling in recent times, myself included despite having graduated high school some time ago I still just fall in this age bracket and can still relate. I’m not sure about you but high school wasn’t this enjoyable time full of parties and social engagements but a time that I tend to block from my memory, a time of darkness where bad decisions were made.
Lead actress Hailee Steinfeld gives a performance that held the whole film together and had me bawling my absolute eyes out in the last twenty-ish minutes of the film. If you don’t remember her, you should now mark her in your memories as she started off in her Academy Award nominated role in the Coen Brother’s film True Grit at 13 before continuing on with a successful music career along side her acting — a rare transition many can’t make. She’s truly an actress at heart as she really captures the depressive nature of Nadine that makes you ache for her as she suffers through her pain alone. She is elevated momentarily from her darkness through Woody Harrelson’s humour as he sees in her what he saw in his wife when she was going through a tougher portion of her life and nurtures Nadine through hers also through humour. Like always, he has that cheeky charm that draws anyone in and makes you smile. he was perfectly cast.
What becomes Nadine’s love interest in Hayden Szeto’s Erwin is an awkwardly adorable human being that I had in my life to not only make me feel better about myself but also be awkward with as well. He’s loveable and bumbling character that’s a perfect fit for Nadine.
I really wish I hadn’t read The Mary Sue’s review of the film before I went into see the film for myself. I usually agree with many of their articles but this one I couldn’t disagree with more. Their review significantly lowered my expectations for the film but I guess this helped the film blow me out of the water as I become emotionally invested in Steinfeld’s character of Nadine and connecting with her over the depression that affects both of our lives along with the awkwardness we have in social situations and struggle with friendship.
Director Kelly Fremon Craig has created a film everyone needs to see and as her first directing effort, it’s something strong and significant. She’s one to watch and I’m glad she was given a chance to get behind the camera to direct her own work. Like I’ve said previously, women, those of colour, and those of the LGBTQ+ community are in desperate need of chances to be apart of an industry that’s so hard to break into.
A warning when heading into this film — bring tissues. You will not only laugh but cry after spending two hours walking in Nadine’s shoes.