Sundance 2015 was full of quirky coming of age tales with dark edges, and perhaps no film better represents that description than Marielle Heller’s “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl.” While it may sound a little twee — it has animated segments within, it’s based on a YA graphic novel, etc. — ‘Diary’ is far from “The Fault In Our Stars” and “Paper Towns.” And as a rather frank and unflinching R-Rated movie with some very well-handled adult themes, Heller’s film is much more mature and unvarnished than most happy-go-lucky bildungsroman movies.
And it handles icky subject matter quite well, so much so that it’s arguably one of the better movies made for teenage girls grappling with sexuality, burgeoning womanhood and a general awakening to the world (here’s our review). Starring newcomer Bel Powley in a big breakout performance, as well as Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard, “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl” centers on a teenager growing up in the late 1970s San Francisco who unwisely begins an affair with her mother’s lover. Here’s the 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.
Co-starring Christopher Meloni and Margarita Levieva, “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl,” which won the Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography prize at Sundance, opens on August 7th in limited release via Sony Pictures Classsics. A new U.K. trailer has arrived along with a batch of new pics. Soak it all up below and tell us what you think.