If the Oscars started today, Hailee Steinfeld did almost everything in her power to at least secure a spot for an Oscar nomination for Best Actress with her latest film in Edge of Seventeen. While Edge of Seventeen doesn’t break any new ground and isn’t something we haven’t seen before, the film stands on its head as one of the best movies of 2016. The film boasts a cast that has great chemistry, almost all of the characters are relatable in some way, and the movie had a great soundtrack that fit every moment in the film itself.
To say Hailee Steinfeld was great in this movie is an understatement. In the lead role, it was obvious that Steinfeld was fully committed to playing the character of Nadine and the performance felt so raw and real. Some movies lack this type of emotion and it is so painfully obvious and almost cringey at times; this was never an issue with Steinfeld’s performance. When Nadine was hurting emotionally, it was prevalent; some of her mannerism’s in this movie were just so authentic as well and it showed that when Steinfeld wants to go all-out and give an awesome performance, she can do it.
The supporting characters matter too and all of them did a great job working around Hailee Steinfeld. Clearly, this is Steinfeld’s show but there were very commendable performances from the supporting cast. Woody Harrelson, like most movies he is in, does a great job in this movie playing Hailee Steinfeld’s teacher. The most surprising performance was the performance of Nadine’s classmate, Erwin. The actor’s name is Hayden Szeto and he seems like a relatively new actor but he had awesome chemistry with Steinfeld’s character. The relationship between Nadine and Erwin was very strong and it was one of the best parts of this film. Blake Jenner plays Nadine’s brother, Kyra Sedgwick plays Nadine’s mom, and Haley Lu Richardson plays Nadine’s best friend from a very early age; all of these actors did a great job in supporting roles and they deserve a lot of credit for working so well with Steinfeld’s character.
The great thing about this film was how relatable each character was. At times in this film, it’s easy to say, “wow, I know someone like Nadine” or “wow, I am Nadine” simply because of the great writing in this film. The character of Nadine is written so well that it doesn’t even feel like Hailee Steinfeld is acting at times. Combine that great writing with Steinfeld’s great performance and this is why the movie works as well as it does.
Overall, The Edge of Seventeen is a film that is more about the overall “journey” of Nadine’s life in high school and how she manages to deal with each obstacle. This film is clearly a character-driven film and it works very well at what it’s trying to accomplish. The strength of this movie is clearly in the acting and the story is very basic but it works. While it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, it is definitely a movie that is worth seeing in theaters before it leaves town.
Verdict: Must See
Matt was once 17 himself. Strange but true fact.
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