“The Edge of Seventeen” is a must see and we had the great opportunity to see it as part of the NY Film Critics Fall Series. The film was written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig.
Hailee Steinfeld gives an outstanding performance as high school junior Nadine, a loner who is struggling with being herself. Nadine has found comfort in her best friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) spending all of their time together. That is until Krista is found in bed with Nadine’s older, popular brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Nadine has grown up believing that life is so easy for Darian and things always go his way, giving him whatever he wants. It is very difficult to see the one person who was the most important to her is now spending time with her brother. As Darian and Krista begin to date, Nadine feels angry and more alone then she ever had before. Instead of being happy for the new couple, she resents them and decides to distance herself from her best friend.
As the film continues, Nadine goes through the ups and downs of being a teenager from trying to find the guts to speak to her crush, Nick (Alexander Calvert) while opening herself up and trying to make friends with her classmate, Erwin (Hayden Szeto) who is actively pursuing her.
The film is filled with laughter and tears, identifying so many aspects of teenage life and how hard high school can truly be.
Following the film, there was a discussion between NYFCS producer, Mark Ehrenkranz and Kelly Fremon Craig.
Kelly discussed how she has some things in common with Nadine, feeling everything she does.She described how Nadine is her own worst enemy. “I think we all can be, I’m usually the one standing in my own way.” It was very important to her to find the perfect Nadine in order for there to be a film. She was so thankful to find Hailee, describing that she played the role of Nadine beautifully and did it with such seamlessness.
Kelly had sent her script originally called “Besties” to James L. Brooks. He took interest in the project, and after she had changed the title and reworked the script they worked together on the film. She also worked very closely with his daughter who was a co-producer on the film.
James L Brooks is the one person Kelly admired creatively more than anyone on the planet. His films were the ones that made her want to be a filmmaker. She was thrilled to be able to work with him.
The night ended with a discussion about the film including an audience Q&A with Mark Ehrenkranz and Alison Bailes.
To learn more about the NY Film Critics Series head here!