The Edge of Seventeen Blu-ray Review
If there was one movie that was grossly neglected this past award season, nearly everywhere, it was THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. It is incredibly difficult to find a chink in its armor. Very few movies can have their main character be a self-absorbed, contemptible teenager, but wholly sympathetic. A lot of that credit can go to Hailee Steinfeld who captures the very essence of Nadine in a brutally honest performance that excels this movie beyond a stereotypical coming-of-age tale.
Nadine isn’t necessarily a daddy’s girl, but she grew relating most with her goofball father. He passed that trait on to her, but she seemingly lost it after a tragic accident that took her dad away from her and her family. Instead of naturally clowning around with everyone, she comes off as mocking and self-righteous. That drives a wedge between her frazzled mother, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick), her popular and hunky older brother, Darian (Jenner), and eventually her best friend who can’t ignore a strong physical and emotional connection to Darian.
The absolute agony of adolescent, unstable and unchecked hormones and emotional adjusting is on full display in THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. But what makes Steinfeld’s performance so emotionally resonant, as well as the script, is the growth that takes place on screen. There’s the stereotypical maturation that she experiences, like crushes and connecting with the right one, which has John Hughes’ watermark all over it. But there’s the true emotional development that Nadine undergoes.
Nadine is written as full dimensional character. She has what you’ve come to expect, but she’s also raw. Her bluntness about sex and life, as well as her wild swings in happiness, sympathy, fury and regret help make this feel like a more true to life experience than anything in recent memory. The script also slowly evolves as well as we only see the characters for as Nadine sees them. It’s not until the third act that we begin to relate with the characters more on a different level, other than the archetypes they’ve been painted as. That expansion matches Nadine’s blossoming as a person who recognizes they’re not the only ones on this planet.
THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN also captures the essence of loneliness. It isn’t something that only affects youth, but it’s universal and ever-present, waiting for a chance to envelop each and everyone one of us. The message in this movie is one that Nadine learns, and we may be for the better watching her learn it since we sometimes forget it as well. Sometimes we are truly happy, but that doesn’t mean we always will be. Our fears can take a hold of us and we shouldn’t allow our personal fear and misery impact those around us.
With Millennials, and to some extent Generation Z, being a cynical bunch, Nadine is a near-perfect quixotic heroine because she’s unable to cope with the harsh edges of reality. Nadine’s awkwardness is touching, heartfelt and comical. But it’s once she begins to embrace the authenticities of the real world, that we really feel a deep connection that resonates deep to our own emotional core.THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN will make you love, laugh and cry. It’s good for the soul.
BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:85:1) The picture quality on this movie is wonderful, capturing every bit of Nadine’s world in crystal clear clarity.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) The mixing and balancing is nearly perfect, but there are moments of mumbling that caused me to rewind.
Gag Reel (5:21): A self-explanatory feature, showing the fun had on set.
Deleted Scenes (4:03): Since I enjoyed every minute of this movie, I’m shocked that these scenes were deleted since it adds more comedic flavoring to the movie. It doesn’t add character depth, but they’re generously entertaining throwaways.