In Hailee Steinfeld’s big comeback from her Oscar-nominated turn in True Grit, she plays a vastly different character.
No longer in the Wild West, though Steinfeld’s character, Nadine, would argue differently, this time she navigates hardship in high school. Nadine is misunderstood—or so she thinks. Our heroine is a sharp, narcissistic, depressed teen who is both self aware and unaware of anyone else’s problems besides her own. We watch her navigate crushes, friendship, and various family problems with growing concern that all of the problems that Nadine has—is pretty much her own fault. What do we do with a heroine like that?
Nadine has problems getting along with her mother and brother, mostly because she feels like she has no one to talk to since her father died. She is biting and sarcastic and has trouble getting along with most people, so she has one friend, Krista. The trouble starts one drunken night when Krista sleeps with Nadine’s brother, the handsome, atheletic, popular Darian, who Nadine had always hated and been jealous of—because he, in her mind, is everything she is not. Nadine proceeds in a downward spiral from there, and we watch the coming-of-age story that sprouts out of this.
What’s unique about this morning is how… real everyone is. No one is a caricature, everyone’s just trying their best. Krista and Darian both could easily be villains in a lesser teen movie, but in Edge of Seventeen, they’re people trying to make it work and trying to get across to Nadine—who is convinced they’re trying to ruin her life. Also worth a shout out is the adorable Hayden Szeto, who plays Nadine’s dorky love interest—which she doesn’t even realize until there’s 15 minutes left of the movie.
Edge of Seventeen is fun, cringe-worthy, and bittersweet. Like high school, like life. I’ll leave you with this: it’s a teen movie that doesn’t really feel like a teen movie if you know what I mean—watch for nostalgia’s sake, or watch if you just want to know it’s all going to be okay.