2014. USA. Directed by Marielle Heller. Minnie could be your typical 15-year-old girl, awash in the throes of sexual awakening. But because she’s growing up in the free-love-induced haze of 1970s San Francisco, instead of losing her virginity to a schoolmate, Minnie opts for an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. Based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s illustrated novel and brought beautifully to cinematic life by first-time writer-director Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl features a heroine who is smart, funny, and talented—with the cartoon characters she sketches occasionally coming off the page to offer additional insight into her psyche. As the precocious protagonist, British newcomer Bel Powley is a revelation, fearlessly embodying the curiosity, heartache, and pleasures of adolescence as Minnie stumbles along on her journey to adulthood. Powley is supported by the moving and tender performances of Alexander Skarsgård as Monroe, the object of both mother and daughter’s affection, and Kristen Wiig as the mom who sees her own youth slipping away in Minnie’s face. A Sony Pictures Classics release. DCP. 100 min.
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