Former cheerleader Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for an Academy award at the age of 15 for her role Mattie Ross in the 2010 remake of western classic ‘True Grit’ completely holding her own opposite silver screen legend Jeff Bridges.
Deciding to go back to school rather than succumbing to overnight success or bundles of money being offered to make more films of less stature spoke a lot of her attitude, maturity and outlook on the industry that can easily corrupt individuals with new found fame.
Three years can be a long time in Hollywood to be away from the limelight. However when Steinfeld returned, she chose roles different in every aspect. Non-conventional low key memorable parts including Begin Again and hitting her Shakespearean bulls-eye as Juliet in an arresting beautiful version of Romeo & Juliet (2013).
Standing out opposite established actors started to become normal glowing in scenes opposite Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley in the otherwise ordinary Enders Game (2013) or going against type as the arrogant daughter of Kevin Costner in Three Days to Kill (2014).
The high dramatic on screen presence continued in The Keeping Room (2014) equaling the intensity of accomplished co-stars Brit Marling and Australian Sam Worthington, she slinks into scenes leaving instant impact on proceedings effortlessly lingering to a point of brilliance.
Surprising to most except her admirers, Steinfeld loosened her vocal chords to add singing to her repertoire among harmony ensembles in Pitch Perfect 2 (2015). My review of the film was average but couldn’t resist highlighting Steinfeld singing. She rocked solo range for the first time on screen, music identities agreed coaxing her to release dance influenced pop EP, Haiz, that produced a top 40 single Love Myself, a decent tune that also brought to light this talented girl was becoming a woman.
Looking at regaining her acting versatility beyond her years, mediocre films Barely Lethal (2015) and Term Life (2016) if nothing else still proves that even in an ordinary motion picture, Steinfeld remains a cut above. While an appearance in a music video short film for her mate Taylor Swift introduced her to a new non-movie going audience.
Out of the blue, another major award nomination has come her way for a best actress Golden Globe in Edge of Seventeen (released throughout Australian cinemas January 5th 2017). Her character Nadine is a deplorable unbearable teen with inner confidence that fails to burst out and in a series of unfortunate events, goes into panic mode when her best friend starts dating her brother.
Edge of Seventeen is a breath of fresh air for comedy films in general harking back to the John Hughes vintage classics of the golden retro years of timeless teen celluloid era including the romance comedy of Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful or 16 Candles and dramatic element of Breakfast Club.
Focusing on the uncomfortable transformation of growing up in high school is lovingly portrayed by a magnificent ensemble of young up and coming support actors with Hailee Steinfeld really establishing her flawless presence drawing on all her emotions to be anything but your transparent teen. As briefly seen in the effective trailer, her scenes opposite Woody Harrelson are extended to perfection within the story, bouncing off each other in a generational acting masterclass.
If it wasn’t for a certain screen goddess Meryl Streep and all singing all dancing it girl Emma Stone being nominated in the same category, she would be a fair chance to challenge the Globe although with a long fortuitous career ahead with the exception of an upcoming Pitch Perfect chapter, many more awards seem imminent.
EDGE OF SEVENTEEN
Rated M. 102 mins.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.