The Edge of Seventeen

Poster for The Edge of Seventeen

Academy Award nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson (Seven Psychopaths, No Country for Old Men) star in this hilarious, poignant coming-of-age tale about a witty but self-absorbed teen whose life goes into a tailspin after her older brother starts dating her best friend.

Not many people pay attention to socially awkward high-school junior Nadine (Steinfeld), but it is not for lack of effort on her part. The Edge of Seventeen begins with Nadine assailing her history teacher, Mr. Bruner (Harrelson), with her umpteenth breathless—and phony—crisis. Tired of Nadine’s high drama, Mr. Bruner refuses to offer token consolation, though he does offer her half his cookie.

Whatever adolescent disaster Nadine thinks she is suffering from, nothing can prepare her for what is tantamount to a personal apocalypse: Nadine’s best—and, well, only—friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), has started dating Nadine’s annoyingly earnest fitness-nut older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Ugh! This unholy union sparks a new level of mania in Nadine, one that will push her to try new things—like sending brazen text messages to the cute, aloof boy who works at the pet store in the mall.

Writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig’s debut is a rollicking tour of 21st-century teen angst. Nadine can be crazily solipsistic but over the course of her misadventures she learns to exercise empathy for others, even Darian. Harrelson gives a beautifully considered performance peppered with small surprises, while Steinfeld exudes comic chops, embracing every facet of this wondrously complicated heroine—and taking her to the very edge.

“Unfolding like a symphony of small humiliations, there isn’t a moment in this movie that doesn’t feel at least vaguely familiar, and there isn’t a moment in this movie that doesn’t feel completely true.” (David Ehrlich, Indiewire)

“Written and directed by the gifted first-timer Kelly Fremon Craig, and graced by a superb star turn from Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen is the rare coming-of-age picture that feels less like a retread than a renewal. It’s a disarmingly smart, funny and thoughtful piece of work, from end to beginning to end.” (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)