High school life isn’t exactly great for teen Nadine (Steinfeld). Her only friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) has started dating Nadine’s popular brother Darian (Blake Jenner), while their mother (Sedgwick) is a handful of emotional baggage following the death of their beloved dad. It’s no wonder that Nadine walks into teacher Mr Bruner’s (Harrelson) classroom and dramatically announces she wants to kill herself (only for him to reply that he’s got far more good reasons to commit suicide than she has).
Written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, this isn’t just another teen movie because Nadine isn’t your typical protagonist. Yes, she’s cutely awkward, but she’s also often self-absorbed, selfish and stubborn, convinced she is the only person who has been wronged and blissfully unaware that she treats some people as horribly as she thinks she has been treated (such as sweet fellow student Erwin, whom she walks over like a doormat). But just when you think you may not like her that much, Fremon Craig throws in a scene that reminds us all what it was really like being a teen, not fitting in despite your best efforts (a scene in a bathroom at a party in which Nadine talks to herself about going out and making friends is almost heartbreaking).
The other reason you grow to love Nadine, despite herself, is Steinfeld’s lovely, funny central performance. While Fremon Craig has deftly fleshed out all the characters that surround her – with terrific performances from all the cast, especially Jenner, Richardson and Harrelson – this is Nadine’s story and it would not have been half as enjoyable without Steinfeld’s likeable, unmissable interpretation of teen traumas.
Is The Edge Of Seventeen suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 15 certificate film and is not suitable for children under that age. The movie contains swearing, and references (visual and verbal) to sex.