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When was the last time you saw a cinematic sex scene that felt anything like real life? Movies can’t seem to help turning sex into a glossy fantasy, or else a joke – among recent releases, you can give Trainwreck some credit for realism in depicting intercourse, but never without a laugh to follow. So it’s particularly refreshing, to some degree even shocking, to see sex depicted with the kind of frankness and wisdom on display in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. The film isn’t visually overindulgent; there is nudity and there are sex scenes, but the film is more concerned with the larger emotional context of the carnal activity. It’s about what the concerned parties want out of the sex itself, what they want out of each other, and how they do or don’t get it. That’s about as real as it gets. »
- Patrick Dunn
Written and directed by Marielle Heller
Moviegoers have had more than their fare share of cinematic bildungsromans to choose from in recent years. Even for those who found last year’s Boyhood to be too focused on the male experience of growing up, Blue is the Warmest Color, released the previous year, provided a more than suitable alternative. Outside of the realist lens, Pixar’s Inside Out gave a powerful and humorous glimpse inside the mind of an eleven-year girl as she coped with a move and struggled with the anxieties of adolescence. But despite this plethora of films on more or less the same subject, none of them them have quite attacked it in the same manner as The Diary of a Teenage Girl, the debut of writer/director Marielle Heller (adapted from the autobiographical novel of the same name by Phoebe Gloeckner »
- Max Bledstein
Ever since it first sparkled into life, people have been been clamouring for a sequel to Inside Out. As Pixar’s best film in years, and one that by its very nature is open for more exploration, it apparently seems silly to let it lie. Well, I don’t think they should. Not only because the studio doesn’t need any more sequels on their upcoming slate, but because we kinda already have a thematic (if very un-Pixar) follow-up in the form of The Diary Of A Teenage Girl.
On the face of it, aside from the San Francisco setting (the most flippant comparison I assure you), Diary is as far away from the family-friendly, U-rated emotional thrills of Pixar’s latest as possible; this is a solid 18 movie, with a plot that centres on an underage girl sleeping with her mother’s boyfriend, featuring numerous »
- Alex Leadbeater
How refreshing it is to see female sexuality on liberated display in "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," Marielle Heller's warmly made debut, based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner. So why didn't people go and see it this weekend? "I'm a fucking woman," says the titular Minnie, an aspiring teenage artist played by resiliently spunky newcomer Bel Powley, "and this is my life." It's 1970s San Francisco, and she is entering into an affair with her mom's (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård), the kind of hunky dope in a leather jacket who messes with your brain (and other body parts). The sex they have isn't icky, but believable and tender, and I love this movie's nonjudgmental embrace of sex and drugs and hedonistic behavior as learning experiences. The film, however, scored disappointingly at the arthouse box office this weekend, via Sony Pictures Classics, and may be too »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Be warned: The Diary of a Teenage Girl is not nearly as jolly as its poster suggests. It features young lead Bel Powley, who plays 15-year-old Minnie Goetz, sitting on a sofa flanked by Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, all looking faintly stunned, with cartoon flowers unfurling behind them. You may expect a brittle, slightly goofy comedy of family tensions along the lines of Juno – and Diary has something of that – but this is altogether a more confrontational, melancholic affair.
In the UK, the film has received an 18 certificate for “strong sex”, which means that viewers of Minnie’s age won’t officially be able to go and see it (yes, an 18 is really going to dissuade them). For the benefit of the faint-hearted, the rubric »
- Jonathan Romney
“I had sex today. Holy shit!” Bouncing around in slow-motion bliss, young San Francisco teen Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) ruminates on a new realm of pleasure that has just opened up to her. She then proceeds to tell us about her conquest: It turns out it’s her own mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård, in the kind of role usually reserved for Peter Sarsgaard). But, incredibly, writer-director Marielle Heller’s film doesn’t ask that we be scandalized by this revelation. Rather, it’s Minnie’s gateway to the wonders of sex and freedom.The first thing to know about The Diary of a Teenage Girl is that young British actress Powley is staggeringly good in it. Earlier this year, after the film’s packed premiere at Sundance, it seemed clear to pretty much everyone in the audience that this unknown, who got the part off an audition tape, »
- Bilge Ebiri
Read More: Sundance Review: 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' Unlocks the Secrets of Adolescence The pre-punk, post-counterculture context of a mid-70s San Francisco has little in common with a modern-day Pittsburgh when it comes to growing up in each time and place. In fact, they couldn’t be much more different. The stories of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and Marielle Heller's "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" may seem, despite their fitting into the same genre as coming-of-age tales, entirely different. The former is about a compulsively anonymous high school senior, Greg (Thomas Mann), reluctantly becoming friends with a leukemia-diagnosed classmate, Rachel (Olivia Cooke). The latter is about a fifteen-year-old San Francisco girl, Minnie (Bel Powley), experiencing a sexual awakening after losing her virginity to her mother’s boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård). One finds a relationship that grew from a contrived, »
- Meredith Mattlin
Remember the name Bel Powley. She's happily not under the microscope of the global media yet, but like Alicia Vikander, Michael B. Jordan and Margot Robbie, she’s part of the next wave of twentysomethings ready to make waves in the movie industry. Actually, she’s already doing it with her acclaimed performance in “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” “I made this movie for teenage girls,” Powley says. “I need them to be able to see it. I feel the people that made that decision we missed the point of the film.” It’s an abnormally warm August afternoon in Los Angeles and Powley is holding court on a bright London Hotel deck as a parade of journalists sit down to discuss her breakout performance in Marielle Heller's directorial debut. The London born actress dissatisfaction is over the recent decision by the British Board of Film Classification (basically »
- Gregory Ellwood
"What's the point of living if nobody loves you, nobody sees you, nobody touches you?"
Based on Phoebe Gloeckner's novel, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a mesmerising journey into the dreams, anxieties and impulses of an aspiring teenage artist growing up in 1970s San Francisco. Boasting powerful performances from its lead stars, wonderfully creative direction and a story that will have you howling with laughter and recoiling with horror, it's a film that really resonates.
Bel Powley is magnificent as Minnie, a 15-year-old girl with a penchant for drawing penises and a growing desire to have her first sexual experience. An affair with her mother Charlotte's (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) helps to allay some of her anxieties, but paves the way for new ones and the potential destruction »
It shouldn’t be radical to see a movie treat a girl with this level of appreciation and understanding of her most intimate inner self. Yet it is. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for movies about girls and women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The projector kept choking, at the press screening of The Diary of a Teenage Girl I attended. For a long stretch during the middle of the film, every few minutes it would sputter and skip and then just go black. It was a little annoying, of course, and a bit of a mood killer, naturally, but mostly it was kind of amusing. I found myself thinking: Even this machine has been trained to think that any depiction of raw, bawdy female sexual desire is dangerous, and cannot be allowed, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Remember that time Alexander Skarsgård dressed in drag? Of course, how could you forget? The 6-foot-4 hunky actor surprised many on Monday night when he dressed in drag and posed for photographers at the Diary of a Teenage Girl premiere in San Francisco, and now we know why. While interviewing the star during the film's New York premiere last night, Skarsgård explained how the whole ensemble came to play, while also jokingly saying how weird he felt not dressing in drag this time around. "I'm disappointed in myself. It feels awkward wearing a pair of jeans. I feel physically and emotionally naked now," he quipped. As for why he opted to put on that shiny gold dress and a »
Anyone worried about how Alexander Skarsgård’s career was going to turn out after “True Blood” can breathe easy. He’s doing just fine. The 38-year-old actor has wrapped a number of intriguing films since the HBO TV series shuttered including David Yates’ “Tarzan” (Yates first film since the “Harry Potter” series ended), John Michael McDonagh's "War on Everyone" (McDonagh’s follow up to “Cavalry”) and the horror flick “Hidden.” Most importantly, he's earned a ton of critical acclaim for his work in Marielle Heller’s “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” which debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and is finally hitting theaters in limited release this weekend. Based on Phoebe Gloecker’s autobiographical graphic novel, “Diary” centers on Minnie (Bel Powly), a 15-year-old girl exploring her sexuality in 1970’s San Francisco. One of the objects of her affection is her mother’s boyfriend Monroe (Skarsgård) and their »
- Gregory Ellwood
In an excerpt from this week’s Guardian film show Xan Brooks, Benjamin Lee and Henry Barnes review writer-director Marielle Heller drama about a 15-year-old girl’s determination to test her expectations of sex and love to the limit. Starring newcomer Bel Powley, alongside Alexander Skarsgård and Kristen Wiig, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is released in the UK on Friday 6 August
Continue reading »
- Xan Brooks, Henry Barnes, Benjamin Lee, Richard Sprenger, Noah Payne-Frank and Andrea Salvatici
In 2010, Marielle Heller starred in a theatrical adaptation of The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures, an autobiographic-ish coming-of-age tale based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s celebrated graphic novel. From this show came Heller’s chance to re-reimagine the novel for movie audiences, this time as director. In addition to the usual pitfalls of page-to-screen adaptations, Heller’s closeness to the material as filtered through another medium could have made her directing debut little more than an exercise in filmed theatre. It speaks to the mutability of that source material, Heller’s skill, or more likely, both, that The Diary of a Teenage Girl isn’t just a fully formed and realized movie, but a really terrific one to boot.
The tag “Sundance favourite” has become something of a double-edged honor; as soon as you show someone the derivative poster for The Diary of a Teenage Girl, »
- Sam Woolf
If you haven't seen it yet, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is the kind of film that ruins you for other blockbusters. Handily, it was deployed right at the end of July, right around the time that most of us have had our blocks thoroughly busted. As we've noted around this time in recent years, you might even be feeling a little fatigued with the smashy-bangy of it all.
But the big movies will keep coming through August. Still to come this month, as blockbuster season winds down, are films like Adam Sandler's video game-themed sci-fi comedy Pixels, horror sequel Sinister 2 and reboots galore, in the form of Fantastic Four, Hitman: Agent 47 and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Before you know it, it'll be time to »
Alexander Skarsgård made his most memorable red carpet appearance to date last night when he dressed in drag and posed for photographers at the Diary of a Teenage Girl premiere in San Francisco. Skarsgård gave serious Farrah Fawcett vibes with his feathered wig, and he wore a floor-length gold dress that was cinched at the waist. He posed with Bel Bowley and director Marielle Heller. It's unclear why Skarsgård decided to dress in drag, but it's suspected his look may have been a nod to his co-star Joshua Grannell, a drag performer named Peaches Christ who plays a transvestite in the film. Skarsgård, who stands tall at 6-foot-4, previously played a transvestite in the 2006 Swedish film Kill Your »
Alexander Skarsgård is one of Hollywood's hottest men -- and it seems he's one of the hottest women, too.
The actor dressed in drag for the premiere of his new movie, "Diary of a Teenage Girl," last night in San Francisco. He donned a feathered blond wig and strutted down the red carpet in a glittery gold dress and silver sandals. The look was very '70s, which is when the movie is set.
It's unclear why Skarsgård dressed as a woman for the premiere, as he doesn't play a drag queen in the movie. Perhaps it was a nod to co-star Joshua Grannell, a drag performer who goes by the name Peaches Chris, who does. Here's a better look.The coming-of-age movie centers on Minnie (Bel Powley), a San Francisco teen who embarks on a journey of sexual evolution after losing her virginity to her mother's boyfriend (Skarsgard). Kristen Wiig stars as Minnie's mom. »
- Kelly Woo
★★★★☆Acquired by Vertigo Films after its glitzy Sundance premiere earlier this year, The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) - based on Phoebe Gloeckner's comic novel of which was loosely inspired by her own life - is a provocative, candid and funny account of one self-aware teens awkward but liberating transition from childhood to womanhood and all the many bumps along the way. Minnie (Bel Powley) has recently lost her virginity - that day, in fact. The lucky suitor happens to be her mother's long-term boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Their affair alights something deep down inside of Minnie, sending her on an exhilarating and devastating pursuit of herself without any limitations.
- CineVue UK
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Bel Powley and Alexander Skarsgård ahead of the release of The Diary of a Teenage Girl. We discussed female sexuality in cinema, shooting the sex scenes first – what it was like performing in a 70s setting in San Francisco – and the hairstyle difficulties that come
- Stefan Pape
He’s been a vampire bar-owner. Soon he’ll be Lord of the Jungle. But the Swedish actor is about to star in the sexually explicit Diary of a Teenage Girl – as a man who beds his girlfriend’s daughter
“I’m tall in Sweden,” says Alexander Skarsgård, lounging across a conveniently oversized sofa. “But I’m huge in Hollywood.” He’s not kidding: at 6ft 4in, he’s even taller in the flesh than he appears on screen. This must make film parties particularly awkward for people who find themselves pitching projects – or even just chatting – to his navel.
His height, in an industry full of titches, and his unmistakably Swedish looks, have helped Skarsgård stand out from the pack. He was perfect for a small turn in Zoolander as one of Ben Stiller’s buddies, and his imposing presence led to a breakout role in the vampire TV show True Blood. »
- Benjamin Lee
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