British Board of Film Classification

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The Edge of Seventeen

 

Film information

  • The Edge of Seventeen

  • Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

  • Status: 15 uncut

  • Year: 2016

Genre: Comedy, Drama

The Edge of Seventeen is a coming of age comedy drama that follows awkward high school junior, Nadine, who finds it hard to cope with life when her older brother starts dating her best friend.
 
It explores several tough themes, as Nadine becomes increasingly isolated, but also includes some strong comic elements, including several scenes in which Nadine talks to her brusque teacher, played by Woody Harrelson.

The BBFC rated the film 15 for strong language and sex references.

The BBFC viewing team noted that there were several uses of strong language, which meant the work could not be rated 12A. At 12A only infrequent strong language is likely to be acceptable.

The team also noted there are visual and verbal references to sex and masturbation in the film. Several are comic or used as insults. There is also a scene in which Nadine takes a ride with a teenage boy and has to stop him when his advances go too far. She is shown to be upset by the event, and the film doesn't endorse the boy's behaviour.

Again, strong sex references are permitted at 15 in line with the BBFC's Classification Guidelines. The Guidelines are a document that sets out the criteria for each classification category, noting the issues BBFC Compliance Officers consider when viewing a film or video. They are based on extensive public consultation, reflecting what adults and teenagers in the UK think classification standards should be. Here's some more information about the BBFC Classification Guidelines and the research underpinning them.

Other issues noted during the viewing of The Edge of Seventeen were milder terms – including mild and moderate language (such as 'pissed', 'bitch' and 'dick') – and discriminatory language (use of the word 'retard').

The film also contains a few verbal references to suicide, when Nadine is seen discussing her upsetting feelings, and exaggerating about her problems. When she is seen in distress, the film does handle this sensitively, with Nadine shown looking for help and learning how to accept and understand her situation and become more resilient.

A summary of the film's issues can be found in its BBFCinsight, which is available here.

The film was rated 15, and selected for use at the 2017 Into Film Festival, where members of the BBFC's Education team introduced it to teenage audiences and discussed the classification process.

 

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