The Edge Of Seventeen

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig (2016) BBFC cert: 15

Hailee Steinfeld is best known for her Oscar nominated portrayal of a revenge seeking daughter in the Coen Brothers 2010 remake of True Grit. Now her sparky talent shines as a confused teen in this smart and funny essay on the high school experience.

Given to spirited monologues and threats of suicide, Nadine’s hard yards to adulthood involves anti-depressants, booze, vomit, rejection, inappropriate sexting and stealing a car. Her path to enlightenment involves realising she must first change herself, if she wants to improve her life.

An early death powers her family’s dynamic with everyone dealing with the fallout in their own way. But the tone is light and there’s an absence of malice in a script which has heart enough for everyone. Haley Lu Richardson, Kyra Sedgwick, Blake Jenner and especially Hayden Szeto offer charmingly fractious support.

A deliciously dead pan Woody Harrelson plays her history teacher. He bats her away Nadine’s crisis with patient dry humour. It’s these scenes which provide the films entertaining edge.

@ChrisHunneysett

 

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