Saturday, 7 January 2017

Film No. 1 (2017) The Edge of Seventeen January 5th.

Film No. 1 (2017) January 5th.  4.40 PM  FENWICK 3 Cimenas  Esperance.


"I was just writing my own suicide note just now, I have 32 fleeting minutes of happiness during lunch which is being eaten up time and again by the same especially badly dressed student and I finally thought I'd rather have the dark nothingness" (Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson) responding to Nadine's cry for help).

There is a lovely scene late in The Edge of Seventeen when we finally see what makes Woody Harrelson's, Bruner tick. It's a nice twist and sums up the film's voice; nothing is what it seems, especially when seen through the eyes of a self centred seventeen year old. Our seventeen year old is Nadine, edgily played by Hailee Seinfeld who appears in her first major role since True Grit (2010).

In the same way the late great John Hughes took us inside the confused minds of teenagers with The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, Kelly Fremon Craig unloads similar satchels of tight, snappy conversation as Nadine inundates us with her little world awash with self-centredness. Okay, we've seen it all before but Nadine is likeable and all the key characters (while not all developed to their full potential) share a unique chemistry.

We meet Nadine as a 7 year old. She's already thinking like a teenager but this fast-tracks us towards understanding the contrasting relationships she has with her mum, dad and brother Darien (Blake Jenner). It's old-hat I know but the foundation is solid, we're invested and prepared for tragedy, jealousy, false hope and misinterpretation on how to fit in and weather adolescence.

As the film concludes Darien sets Nadine straight on the trials and tribulations of being her brother. It's a well written outpouring but for me his character wasn't completely developed, real justice was not there for the monologue. Harrelson as Bruner however is as you have never seen him before; low key, dry, slightly watery eyed and totally dependable. He doesn't have a starring role but he is the star. The Edge of Seventeen is a wholesome watch.  9GUMS.      

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