Opening August 7, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The Diary of a Teenage Girl, the directorial debut of actress/writer Marielle Heller (A Walk Amongst The Tombstones ). British actress Bel Powley (A Royal Night Out ) plays headstrong 17-year-old artist Minnie, living with her mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) in 1970s San Francisco and indulging in a sexual relationship with Charlotte’s boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Read on…
While the experiences of teenage boys are a cinematic staple, it’s rare to see the story of a teenage girl being explored on screen; particularly in such a vivid and frank way. Powley is outstanding as Minnie, a girl standing on the cusp of adulthood, while Wiig is brilliant as a mother threatened by her daughter’s youth and vitality. The dynamic between the two is phenomenal, as it is between Powey and Skarsgård; while obviously inappropriate, the relationship between Minnie and Monroe is never played for titillation, rather as a formative experience in the life of an unconventional young woman. Heller’s screenplay and direction also keep Minnie firmly at the centre of this narrative, her drawings and doodlings playing a key role in the telling of her story. Bold, brassy and brilliant.
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:
Pam Grady: Bel Powley is terrific as a heedless teenager in 1970s San Francisco growing up with no limits, well-matched by Alexander Skarsgård as the older man only too willing to take advantage of the situation inThe Diary of a Teenage Girl , Marielle Heller’s vivid adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s autobiographical novel.
Nell Minow: The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a rare frank look at adolescent sexuality from a female perspective. Beautifully acted by all.
MaryAnn Johanson: My pick is Diary of a Teenage Girl , because after all the many, many movies about what it’s like to be a teenaged boy, one about a teenaged girl is very welcome. Review>>
Jennifer Merin: Told from a teenage girl’s unfiltered point of view, this is not an easy-to-watch movie, but the uncomfortable moments raise important and highly relevant questions about how teenage girls cope with their burgeoning sexuality, and the role parents play in their discovery and adjustment.
Title: The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Running Time: 102 minutes
Shooting Location(s): San Francisco, California
Principal Cast: Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni
Screenwriter: Marielle Heller, from the novel by Phoebe Gloeckner
Production Company(s): Caviar, Cold Iron Pictures, Archer Gray
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Maitand McDonagh, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.
Other Movies Opening the Week of August 3-9, 2015:
Dark Moon Rising
Prey For Death
Message From Hiroshima
Shaun the Sheep Movie
A Day in the Life of a Mobster
Ricki and the Flash
Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet
Call Me Lucky
No More Mr Nice Guy
To The Fore
God Bless the Child
Car Pool Killer
The Light Beyond the Storm
Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, AWFJ.org Associate Editor