Every year, Sundance features multiple breakouts, and 2015 was no different. One of the biggest breakthrough actors of the festival was Bel Powley, the mostly unknown star of the coming of age dramedy “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl” who swept audiences off of their feet with her naturalistic, unblinking performance as a teenager struggling with her sexuality and identity during the turbulent Haight-Ashbury scene in 1970s San Francisco.
Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel of the same name, “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl” may look a little twee on the surface —it does indeed include moments of enchanting animation and fairy tale magic— but it’s much darker than it may seem. The movie pulls no punches, particularly in light of its seedy-sounding main narrative: A teenager begins an illicit sexual relationship with her mother’s lover, which not only awakens her to the wider world but pushes her towards darker tendencies and dangerous experimentation with drugs (here’s our review). Here’s the official synopsis:
Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the world. Minnie begins a complex love affair with her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend, “the handsomest man in the world,” Monroe Rutherford (Alexander Skarsgård). What follows is a sharp, funny and provocative account of one girl’s sexual and artistic awakening, without judgment.
Directed by Marielle Heller and co-starring Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård with appearances by Christopher Meloni, and Margarita Levieva, Sony Pictures Classics will release “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl” on August 7. Watch the first trailer below.