Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t sound like it can possibly work. Columbia and Sony Pictures produces an animated Spider-Man film that is not connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but instead deals heavily with “the Spider-Verse”, an infinite collection of realities each with their own specific Spider-Person hero. Who does movies that are their own thing anymore? What is it, 1999? Well, these guys do. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman directed the film from a screenplay by Phil Lord and Rothman. Uh oh, so many people, so many companies involved, such an odd choice in setting. It must be a disaster, right?
In her directorial debut, Kelly Fremon Craig has nailed the awkward world of teenage angst in The Edge of Seventeen. Starring Academy Award Nominee Hailee Steinfeld, this coming-of-age film showcases some incredible acting talent, a real command of language, a distinctive comedic voice, and strong plotting elements. Though that peculiar brand of teenage ennui is apparent, there is an undeniable emotion and heart at the core of this story. Sometimes sad and angry, other times exalted and jubilant – and then right back to sad and angry, The Edge of Seventeen belongs right beside the classic coming-of-age films for portraying the challenge of growing up with practically perfect execution.