Yawn! Another coming-of-age tale about privileged white teen-aged suburbanites who drive gleaming new cars and vans to school (no second hand jalopies in this crowd), have pools in their backyard and all the latest technological gear at their disposal.
As usual, most of the actors in these films are too old to play high school students. 20 year old Hailee Steinfeld plays a high school junior!
Fortunately, for writer/director and co-producer Kelly Fremon Craig, it is Ms. Steinfeld’s remarkable performance as troubled teen Nadine that saves the movie. Striking an ironic pose to hide the confusion lurking just underneath, Ms. Steinfeld somehow makes her difficult character human and, um. likeable. If you ask me (and no one did) she should have been Oscar nominated for this role as well as the Academy nod for her performance in the Coen brothers’ version of True Grit. (She did earn a Golden Globe nomination for her work in Edge of Seventeen.)
Her exchanges with Woody Harrelson, as a deceptively sympathetic teacher, especially shine.