August 10, 2015

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by: Marielle Heller
Country: USA

Movie Review: In this successful screen adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s autobiographical novel “Diary of a Teenage Girl”, first-time director, Marielle Heller, who already had adapted it for an off-Broadway play, managed to inflict a very peculiar and personal touch that makes the film rise above the standard levels within the so inviting and yet slippery coming-of-age genre. A glamorous cast was reunited, involving not only confirmed talents such as Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig but also a fantastic discovery, Bel Powley, who shines in the main role. She gives the body and puts all her soul in the promiscuous 15-year-old Minnie Goetze, a cartoonist wannabe, living in San Francisco in the 70’s, who is radiant for having lost her virginity. Nothing wrong with that, if the chosen man wasn’t her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe (Skarsgard), who wasn’t able to say no to her daring and direct approach - ‘I want you to fuck me’. The experience didn’t stop there since they start having sex on a regular basis for years. All these occurrences are narrated and recorded on audiotapes that Minnie hides in a small box underneath her bed. Minnie’s mother, Charlotte (Wiig), eventually finds the truth, confirming the suspicions already thrown by Minnie’s father, the firm and astute Pascal (Christopher Meloni), who only needed one visit to the house to figure out what was happening. One may conclude that Charlotte has responsibility in the matter since she acts permissively regarding her daughter, in particular during the course of her intoxicating home parties where alcohol and drugs were a constant. But Minnie’s story shows to have a more intricate complexity that can’t be simply explained by this or that aspect. Told from a very feminine perspective, and painted through occasional animation sequences and an insistently attractive light sepia tone that evokes the warmth of the 70’s, this Diary is subtly sweet, emotionally intense, and poignantly funny. The cycle experience-suffer-learn is exposed unreservedly without, however, being radical. And I liked that.

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