Hailee Steinfeld is the surprise Oscar nominee we need
The BAFTA nominations were announced on Tuesday, earning Emily Blunt a nomination for her performance in The Girl on the Train, in addition to her SAG nod. While Blunt is the best part of the movie, which is otherwise a train wreck, there are other performances from actresses last year that deserve awards recognition.
While we're wondering if Blunt could earn a surprise Oscar nomination, if we're being honest, there's only one performance from 2016 that deserves to sneak into the 2017 Oscars race. That's Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen.
In The Edge of Seventeen, Steinfeld gives a performance beyond her 20 years. She plays Nadine, a high-schooler who's going through it. Since her father's passing, she's found it hard to fit in, both at school and home, and she pushes everyone away. While it seems like your typical teenage comedy, Steinfeld's seasoned performance elevates it to something more affecting.
Maybe it's because Steinfeld was an actual teenager when she filmed the movie, but her performance is as authentic as they come for the genre. Like most of us in high school, Nadine is filled with angst, convinced the world revolves around her. Steinfeld holds up a mirror to the audience and transports us back in time, reminding us how awful we were as teenagers.
Steinfeld received a Golden Globe nomination for her critically adored performance in the teen comedy. While the film fizzled at the box-office, it earned rave reviews from critics, who have called it an instant teen classic. Yet even though her performance has earned her nominations at several critics association awards, it's being overlooked at most major award shows like the SAGs and Critics Choice Awards — and probably the Oscars.
Over the years, performances in comedies have earned nominations, but the academy tends to lean more towards showier performances like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder or Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary. Ellen Page earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Juno, a critically adored indie dramedy that became a box office smash, but that's the exception that proves the rule.
At just 20 years old, Steinfeld already has one Oscar nomination and deserves another one this year. The actress not only gives a career-best performance in The Edge of Seventeen, but she out-acts most of the other actresses currently surging in this year's best actress race. While subtle comedic performances are often overlooked for flashier ones, Steinfeld warrants the attention of the academy for giving one of the most authentic portrayals of a teenager in years.