Kelly Fremon Craig wrote and directed the 2016 coming-of-age story, The
Edge of Seventeen. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, and
Woody Harrelson, The Edge of Seventeen tells the ever so familiar tale
of navigating high school and the awkward teenage years just as your
world begins to fall apart. Kelly Fremon Craig follows the formula of a
coming-of-age story while still managing to tug at the heartstrings of
the audience and keep us engaged through the final scene. Brilliantly
written with a wonderful cast, The Edge of Seventeen is sure to gain
attention this Oscar season.
Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) has always been, a little different. There was a time in her life in which she felt like such an outcast, she refused to get out of the car and enter school. Everything changed when she met Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) Finally, Nadine had a friend and felt like she belonged with someone. Nadine and Krista were attached at the hip, navigating life's challenges and the unique difficulties of their lives. Nadine has always felt overshadowed by her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) who seems to never have a challenge with any aspect of his life. Nadine never felt worse about her brother than when he began dating Krista. The union between Krista and Darian was too much for Nadine to bear, and she drew a line in the sand presenting Krista with the ultimatum of choosing between Nadine and her brother. When Krista refused to answer, Nadine abandoned their friendship forging through life and high school and every awkward situation that comes with it friendless and alone, with the exception of her favorite teacher, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson).
Kelly Fremon Craig crafted a brilliant script, reminiscent of Diablo Cody, with a perfectly conversational tone and wonderfully engaging pop culture references. The most brilliant aspect of the script was that each character was fully developed. It is so rare, especially in a coming-of-age story to have each character so beautifully fleshed out so the audience can understand the film from each perspective. The Edge of Seventeen, especially, was dependent upon being able to see the perspective of each character, as Nadine was often criticized for being self-centered in her belief that she was the only one experiencing problems in regards to the change in her family. The edge of Seventeen was an incredibly relatable story, which is the driving force of a coming-of-age tale; this inherent relatability is in no small part aided by the wonderful acting of the film's lead. Hailee Steinfeld played a perfect lead and was scene stealing and captivating every moment she was on-screen. Kelly Fremon Craig also makes some brilliant directorial choices to allow the audience to see their own similarities to the tale. The fact that the principles attend Lakewood High School reminds me of a line from A Nightmare on Elm Street, "In every town, there's an Elm Street. My hometown in Colorado has a Lakewood High School, and I'm sure, most towns in the U.S. do, as well. The most striking stroke of relatability is the illustration that we are all struggling through our own unique journey, and there is no one among us to save us. Many teenagers believe that when they are an adult they will have all the answers and won't have to struggle through life so much, only to find out that it is only the circumstances with which one struggles with that changes. There is no rule book for understanding given once one becomes an adult, and there are never any easy answers no matter how old we become, the best we can do is find someone that makes the struggle worth it, and navigate life together.
The Edge of Seventeen was a bit formulaic and predictable in parts, but that is easily forgiven, considering it is a coming-of-age film. The script and cast avoid the predictable hole the film avoided. Whether you were a Darian, who on the surface never met a struggle, or whether you were a Nadine, a self-described "old soul" who always felt out of place in your generation and missed out on the "beer pong ice breakers", there is something in The Age of Seventeen for everyone.
The Edge of Seventeen
Comedy / Drama
The Edge of Seventeen
Comedy / Drama
Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.
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February 04, 2017 at 04:22 PM