• Review: The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sat Apr 29 10:05:49 2017
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2017 David N. Butterworth

    *** (out of ****)

    What a thoroughly fabulous actress Hailee Steinfeld is. She's the heart
    and soul of "The Edge of Seventeen," a coming-of-teen-age drama about a
    nerdy high schooler who, well... comes of age, a little too hurriedly in the film's closing moments perhaps but not enough to spoil the experience. We still come away feeling good and happy for this young woman who has been struggling with her older, more popular brother hooking up with her best
    and only friend. Watching Steinfeld is like watching Emma Stone in the similarly-schooled "Easy A" and she's as good as Stone was in that film:
    front and center, focused, and very funny. Steinfeld is amazingly
    confident on screen, whether going head to head with the (seasoned) likes
    of Woody Harrelson--refreshingly low-key--and Kyra Sedgwick--typically harried--or alongside up-and-coming peers Haley Lu Richardson (currently on show in the schizoid psycho thriller "Split") and "Glee"'s Blake Jenner.
    None of this should come as any surprise to anybody who has followed Steinfeld's career since her feature-film debut in the Coen Brothers' "True Grit." After all, the young actress--she was just fourteen at the time
    that remake was released in 2010--received a Best Supporting Actress for
    her work in the film and she sure showed her fellow performers Jeff
    Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Matt Damon a thing or two. In "'Seventeen," for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, Steinfeld applies just the right balance of sober smarts, teen angst, irreverent
    humor, and pugnacious likability to the role of Nadine and first-time
    director Kelly Fremon Craig (who also penned the marvelously pithy
    dialogue) gives her a wide enough berth to strut her stuff. And fantastic stuff it is too. Look for this one to go far.

    David N. Butterworth

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