The Edge of Seventeen- NOT Just Another Teen Movie

Hey Everyone!

Recently I was going through a time where I felt more angsty and angry at the world than I ever had. So, one of my best friends and I ventured off, KFC popcorn chicken in hand, to the only place that can make me feel better- the cinemas. ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ first peaked my interest when I watched an actor on actor interview on youtube between Sally Field and Hailee Stienfield. After hearing Field’s praise of the drama film I decided to check it out and I was pleasently surprised!
I’ll be the first to admit, I love angsty teen drama series- ‘One Tree Hill’, ‘Beverly Hills 90210’, ‘The OC’, ‘Dawson’s Creek’, I love them all! But I have a certain respect for films and more often than not, teen dramas are the worst thing to translate into film form. However, ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ was certainly something special.

Stenfield was absolutely magical in her portrayal of Nadine! She conveyed all the emotional baggage of a teenager whilst still maintaining a sense of individuality. Nadine is a whole, well rounded character different from the carbon copies of the same angsty teen in similar films. The rest of the cast was just as wonderful, however, as usual i’m forced to question the ages of actors being hired to play teenagers. Blake Jenner is 24 and playing a 17 year old…that’s just too big of an age gap if you ask me and his older appearence did disrupt the film, at least for me. I loved the relationship betweeen Nadine and her father, it was so sweet and really tugged at my heartstrings.

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The dialogue was smart (but not in a pretentious teen movie kind of way!), awkward and just downright hilarious! I’m not one to find films of this genre particularly funny, but Steinfeld and Harrelson were a match made in heaven! All the characters had such wonderful chemistry which really brought the film together!

I found the plot could be a little thin at times where it seemed to take a little too much of a stereotypical path and character development was poor, particularly with Nadine’s brother Darian. Sure, the film is told from Nadine’s perspective, so of course Darian would appear to be a horrible guy, but i felt Nadine’s thoughts and reactions were a little too dramatic and unwarranted. Her hatred for Darian wasn’t explored deep enough for me to be able to relate to her outrage when he starts dating her best friend. This was Nadine’s core problem in the film and I just didnt relate to it. However there were many, many moments in the film that perfectly captured feelings that my friends and I have all felt, so the Kelly Fremon Craig should certainly be commended on her ability to craft an accurate depiction of teen life- something that is near impossible on screen!

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The Edge of Seventeen was not perfect, and while it had moments that were far too stereotypical for my taste, the film still had more emotion and depth than any teen film i’ve ever seen. I can say that finally my generation has our ‘Pretty in Pink’, ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Fast Times and Ridgemont High’ in ‘The Edge of Seventeen’. This film gave me those feelings I always crave when I walk out of the cinema- sublime happiness and the feeling that I can take on the world. I’ll always remember this film as a representation of my adolescence.

The Edge of Seventeen film: 7/10

‘La La Land’ (2016) Trailer Reaction!

We all know trailers for being those pesky shorts aimed at giving the audience a peek at the film, but instead spoil the plot, character relationships, jump scares and basically every other important aspect of the film. I generally stay away from trailers like the plague, however, when I saw the teaser posters for Damien Chazelle’s 2016 film ‘La La Land’, I couldn’t help but watch!

The musical comedy-drama set to hit theatres in December, 2016 stars academy award nominated actors (and personal favourites of mine) Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as they sing, dance and fall in love on screen. I’ve got to say, I didn’t have very high expectations of the film when I’d first heard about it- Although I love both actors, the Stone-Gosling love story is getting a little old after Gangster Squad AND Crazy Stupid Love- But THIS TRAILER BLEW MY MINE!!

The score starts out as a soothing piano piece played by Gosling which truly invites the audience into the world of starving artists that is Los Angeles, when suddenly an intense and unexpected kiss throws the trailer into an epicly vibrant musical atmosphere. The bright and fresh jazz score and quick cut montage sequence of the colourful costumes, lights and brilliantly shot choreography really awakens the audience from their deep, miserable slumber. I have always been a lover of musicals, and this film appears to be exactly what Hollywood has been waiting for- something with heart, soul and tap dance! ‘La La Land’ is the first film I have been excited for in a long time, the trailer shocked my system in the best possible way and I absolutely cannot wait for it to hit theatres!!

Love,
Aly xx

Predicted rating: 8/10

‘Begin Again’ film review

Hey everyone!

So, in recent times I’ve been feeling a dry spell in terms of great movies- It’s seemed like everything I watched was awful!! So, I’d resided to the fact that films were no longer good, and with little expectations, I decided to check out John Carney’s 2013 musical/comedy drama ‘Begin Again’ AND IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!

At the time of the film’s UK release in 2014, I decided against watching it in the cinemas, as I didn’t want to waste my time and money on something that seemed so clichéd and flat, however, as I sit at my desk typing this I can’t help but wish I had gone to see it in theatres, as I can only imagine how much more magical this film would’ve been on the big screen.

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‘Begin Again’ is genuinely one of the most heartwarming films I’ve ever seen in my life!! The cast was phenomenal, with Mark Ruffalo playing the drunk, washed up music producer Dan Mulligan and Kiera Knightly as the sarcastic, yet lovable unknown talent Gretta James. Ruffalo and Knightley’s on-screen chemistry was palpable and beautiful! Adam Levine, best known as the lead singer of my favourite band (and favourite meme) ‘Maroon 5’ was surprisingly wonderful in the film, he wasn’t just your typical, one-dimensional douche bag! Levine’s character Dave Kohl actual has layers, to the point where you almost feel sorry for him by the end [or maybe that’s just me and my die-hard crush on Levine 😉 ]. But nevertheless, the entire cast was amazing!!mark-ruffalo-and-keira-knightley

As for the musical aspect, I absolutely loved the original songs! They were the perfect mix of indie and pop to give the film that feel-good mood! My favourite song, ‘Lost Stars’ is such a beautiful piece (which was nominated for an oscar!). Honestly, I just can’t get any more excited about this film!! Sure, it had quite a few montage sequences (which i usually find annoying) but they were executed so well that nothing could have peeled my eyes from the screen! As Knightley and Ruffalo stroll around New York City at night listening to music through a headphone splitter, i felt my heart flutter like I’ve never felt it before- Just for the record, I am one of the most pessimistic, perpetually annoyed people you will ever know, and yet this film managed to bring me back to life!

The film was genuinely hilarious! The dialogue at times literally had me in tears!! But at others, Carney pulls at your heartstrings without being cheesy in the slightest! That’s what I really love about this film, its originality and creative concept, brought together by such a marvellous cast and cinematography. Overall, the characters were developed quite well- although I would’ve liked to have seen more of Haliee Steinfeld’s character. ‘Begin Again’ was just such heartwarming and inspiring story about following your dreams and loving what you do, no matter what others say- it definitely renewed my faith in Hollywood!

Love,
Aly xx

‘BEGIN AGAIN’ FILM: 8/10