#REVIEW: “THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
For first-time Writer/Director Marielle Heller she takes on the extremely ambitious project of The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which takes place in the 1970s through a girl’s adventures exploring her sexuality and understanding her place in the world. This is typical for a Indie flick, but The Diary of a Teenage Girl certainly is far from standard fare, it is more thought provoking and engaging than anything circling this topic in recent years; a quirky romantic-dramedy that will affect you deeply in its two-hour entirety.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl focuses on Minnie (emerging star Bel Powley) as she feels the angst that is shamefully-associated with being a teenager, and moreover in this case a teenage girl. At the age of 15 in the 1970s, Minnie wants to have sex – it’s simple – although she doesn’t think there is a man out there who would find her of desire. This however is where things take a turn as one night her mother, Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) and boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) are canoodling on the couch watching television, as Charlotte shortly after proceeds to bed. Monroe and Minnie engage in playful roughhousing, which leads to the start off their affair and sexual awakening.
The performances here are outstanding, as Bel Powley is truly incredible. She has a small background in television, but her performance and ability to control the screen opposite heavyweights like Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard is truly remarkable. Even when Bel Powley is sharing the screen with Christopher Meloni, Pascal (her biological father) she holds the screen with such conviction. However that is not to undermine the performances of either Kristen Wiig or Alexander Skarsgård, who are both remarkable. The Film truly comes together with its incredible performances and thought-provoking story.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is an absolute delight from start to finish combining both live action with unpolished animation to create this sense of whimsical entertainment. The story captivates the audience as the performances engage. Powley is one to keep a tab on.
Mongrel Media release The Diary of a Teenage Girl in Toronto and Vancouver Friday, August 14, 2015 and other cities to follow.