Diary of a Teenage Girl
Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel and adapted for the screen and directed by Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl charts the coming-of-age adventures of Minnie Goetze, a punchy teen growing up fast in the countercultural haze of 1970’s San Francisco.
The film opens with Minnie’s proclaiming to the camera: “I had sex today…holy shit!” British actress Bel Powley (Benidorm, A Royal Night Out) delivers a dynamite break-out role this inquisitive 15 year old with bags of brains and a burgeoning sex drive, who sets her sights on her hippie mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend Monroe, played sensitively by Alexander Skarsgård.
Interestingly for a Sundance championed teen comedy, the film has a distinctly European approach to sexuality: liberal, with a fair amount of nudity and refreshingly free from the morality police. Heller’s smart direction paints a 70’s palette of burgeoning feminism, bad acid trips and plenty of brown corduroy.
Furthermore, she gives weight to the source material’s semi-graphic novel by bringing in Icelandic artist Sara Gunnardottir to create some irreverent Robert Crumb-esque psychedelic animation which perfectly illustrates Minnie’s blossoming creative imagination.