I was initially shocked by The diary of a teenage girl, and then I was won over by its gutsy unconventional story and the main cast. Bel Powley stars as 15-year-old Minnie Goetze. We are in 1970s and she is living in San Francisco with her mother, Charlotte (Kristen Wiig). Minnie seems to thinking about sex all the time. With the sexual revolution and drugs, it’s only normal for a young person to want to experiment. She grabs a tape recorder (Ah! The 70s) and start recording her diary. We learn how she seduced her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Of course Monroe is a willing participant and responds to her taunts in kind and they end up having sex. This goes on for a long time as Monroe and Minnie are addicted to one another and they don’t seem to recognize how unhealthy and abusive this relation is. Boys Minnie’s age find her sexual appetite intimidating and too intense. Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, the film occasionally inserts Sara Gunnarsdottir’s animation to illustrate Minnie’s love of drawing and of cartoonist Aline Kominsky. The film grew on me. The chemistry between Powley (what a find!) and Skarsgård is effective, especially in the more dramatic moments. And SNL alumni Kristen Wiig is also remarkable in a subtle and understated performance. Some will find The diary of a teenage girl shocking, others will be titillated, either way it is a film that is worth a look.
The diary of a teenage girl
Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner