Review: The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Awkward popcorn staring.
You can have a lot of different emotions in a theater, but there's nothing quite like feeling too awkward/uncomfortable to watch the screen. In this case, I examined my popcorn rather closely, more than once.
Minnie (Bel Powley) is a 15 year old living in San Francisco in the 70's. She wants to be an artist and her drawings frequently come to life during the film, adding psychedelic frames throughout. She also is becoming hyper aware of her sexuality, especially after she loses her virginity to her mother's boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard) Despite loving to draw, Minnie doesn't write down her thoughts, she records them on a tape recorder, and on we go on her journey through her sexual awakening.
I knew going in that Minnie was going to have sex with Monroe, but I didn't realize that it was going to be an extended thing throughout the entire movie. Somehow, I thought it would play differently. Like a one time experiment that she moves on from. Nope. I never stopped being grossed out at the sight of a fifteen year old having sex with an adult. I couldn't wait for those scenes to be over. Powley is just too good at being a convincing teenager.
Speaking of Powley, she's great. She really is a joy to watch (when she's not fucking Monroe) Skarsgard also had a very strong performance. Kristen Wiig, as usual was the weakest link for me. Even Christopher Meloni in his small part out shined her. The best part about this film however is definitely the production side. The costume designers, the art direction, set design, everything looks perfect for 1975. Even the way it's shot, it feels like a film from that era.
I'm not sure how to grade this film, to be honest. Minnie learns a valuable lesson from all of this, and the final few moments of the film are so strong, but this just wasn't for me. (Weird, I know. I like a lot of uncomfortable movies) No matter how good of a job everyone did.
Recommended: Sure. There is a lot of good things here, it's just a hard watch.
Memorable Quote: "Do I look different?" - Minnie (Bel Powley)