In this social media age keeping a diary may be a rare occurrence, but back before the emergence of the internet and fruit-based products it served as an invaluable antidote to loneliness. In Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Minnie writes and records her anxieties, worrying about her burgeoning sexuality and transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Minnie (Bel Powley) is a 15 year old girl living in San Francisco with her libertarian mother, Charlotte (Kristen Wiig). When Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) enters her mother’s life, coinciding with Minnie’s increasing sexual awareness, she becomes obsessed with him. The pair begin a clandestine affair, opening up a whole new adult world to a confused teenager who is desperately trying to keep up.
Based on the semi-autobiographical graphic novel by Pheobe Gloeckner, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a fantastic coming-of-age film told using great visual ingenuity, and featuring a star-making central performance from Bel Powley. It’s beautifully shot and acted, evoking the spirit of the ’70s in the liberal Bay Area. It had a similar effect on me as Juno did in 2007 whilst being a totally different kettle of fish.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is out in cinemas on Friday.