Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Exhilarating in its candour and ironic verve, The Diary of a Teenage Girl recounts the visceral thrills and spills of 15-year-old Minnie (Bel Powley) as she throws herself into her first affair. Her secret lover: the ridiculously easy-going boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård) of her blithely hedonistic mother (Kristen Wiig).
“Marielle Heller’s tough, irreverent, furiously felt debut feature is faithfully adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner’s 2002 novel of the same name, written in the age of grrl power but set in the mid-70s, when underage girls explored their sexual desires more or less on their own. The narrative takes the form of a diary recorded on audiocassette by Minnie, a 15-yearold aspiring graphic novelist (Aline Kominsky is her idol) who is having an affair with her mother’s 32-year-old boyfriend. Minnie is the aggressor in this affair, and her hunger for sex and love, her wildly swinging emotions, and the fact that she comes through the experience wiser but undaunted are truly liberating.” — Amy Taubin, Film Comment
“Drawing on her acting background, Heller elicits a truly staggering performance from newcomer Bel Powley, who carries the weight of the movie on her slight shoulders as Minnie discovers her sexuality can be a means to both self-worth and self-destruction. Kristen Wiig delivers as Minnie’s substance-dependent bohemian mother, particularly in the film’s darker second half, and Alexander Skarsgård infuses the conflicted Monroe with a great deal of sympathy and subtle comedy.” — Emma Myers, Film Comment