The Edge of Seventeen | Life for Hailee Steinfeld's moody teenager is a raging dumpster fire

Edge of Seventeen Hailee Seinfeld Woody Harrelson
(Image credit: Murray Close)

Edge of Seventeen Hailee Seinfeld Woody Harrelson

You're only young once... is it over yet?

Moody, peevish and socially inept, Hailee Steinfeld’s 17-year-old high-school student Nadine is an emotional mess. Then things get worse in The Edge of Seventeen.

Her best and only friend (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her annoyingly perfect older brother (Blake Jenner). Her harassed widowed mom (Kyra Sedgwick) loses patience with her tantrums. And her crush on the local bad boy turns into a sexting nightmare.

The only person she can turn to for advice is her jaded history teacher (a wonderfully droll Woody Harrelson), and it seems all he has to offer are weary put downs. Yes, her life really is a ‘raging dumpster fire’. How will she pull through?

This first-rate teen comedy brilliantly captures the turbulence of adolescence thanks to writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig’s smartly funny script and to Steinfeld’s terrific lead performance. Managing to charm and amuse us, even when her snarky, stroppy character is at her most disagreeably self-absorbed, she is a teen heroine for our times.

Certificate 15. Runtime 100 mins. Director Kelly Fremon Craig

The Edge of Seventeen is available on DVD & Digital Download from Entertainment One.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.