The Edge of Seventeen ★★★★½

"In the opening scene of Kelly Fremon Craig’s debut feature The Edge of Seventeen, there’s a shot that shows Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld) walking urgently through the halls of her high school to interrupt her favorite teacher’s lunch to tell him she intends to commit suicide. The camera follows her and tracks up her body until her entire outfit can be seen. She’s wearing sneakers over tights, leading up to a skirt, and finally a men’s bomber jacket. Her outfit is an extension of her character and Fremon Craig frames Nadine in a way that emphasizes her look and personality through fashion. It’s a simple sequence, but speaks volumes to the level of detail given to Nadine that makes her feel immediately iconic and cinematic in a way that very few American movies about teenagers have been in the last few years. Nadine is like many teenagers in the sense that she can’t see her everyday problems as anything less than the end of the world; the greatest strength in Seventeen is that the film treats those problems exactly as Nadine does. It’s a total point-of-view recognition and key to making this movie have impact, depth, and understanding in its characters. Nadine is not here to be taught a lesson or become a cautionary tale, as many films about teenagers tend to do; instead, she exists fully as her own person moving through her problems from moment to moment however she sees best. It’s truly a breath of fresh air for a film of this caliber to exist and treat a teenage girl’s struggles, complexities, and deficiencies in an empathetic and profoundly loving way."

Reposted from Movie Mezzanine's Year End post which you can read here

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