Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Edge of Seventeen

Plot: High school Junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) has a party while her Mom (Kyra Sedgewick) was away, and her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) hooks up with her brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Nadine hates her brother and then gets in a fight with Krista -- leaving Nadine friendless in high school. Nadine is in a social pickle and only nerdy Erwin (Hayden Szeto) pays any attention to her.. As Nadine considers suicide, she confides in teacher Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson). Nadine is her own worst enemy, and her situation only gets worse -- until the twist at the end.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Edge of Seventeen is a drama about the intense relationships between high schoolers. It is a dialog-driven drama like Juno or Perks of Being a Wallflower, and while there is some sitcom humor, it isn't a comedy. The tension is in the mind of Nadine with extra tension from her Mom's head.

The dialog is clever without being too forced, and the elements of plot are conversations where Nadine says something that turns the screw on her social situation.

Hailee Steinfeld does an outstanding job with the subtle emotions, and writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig's script is the other star. Clever social observations overlaid with Nadine's hopelessness are delivered in a snappy and interesting way. Nadine's insults are especially good. Writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig needs to make more movies.

I really liked this film. I like getting into other people's heads, and I like complicated and twisted situations. There is a theme about death and loss, but most is about being a social misfit. Even though it is about high school, it is not only for high schoolers, because people are so complicated.

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Kyra Sedgewick, Haley Lu Richardson, Hayden Szeto, Blake Jenner, Woody Harrelson

Directed and written by:
Kelly Fremon Craig

The Music:
Pop songs with a score by Atli Oovarsson

3.5 stars: I liked it a lot. It would be fun to see again.

More: Writer Craig said she just wanted to capture what it is like to be seventeen. Producer Brooks said the voice is so specific to you (Craig), that you are the only person to direct it.

Even More: This is the first major project for writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig. Looking for more from her.


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