The Diary of a Teenage Girl

First Hit:  Great view of the 70’s and how one young girl grows through her budding sexuality.

The late 1960’ through the mid-late 1970’s were ripe with open sexuality and drug use. This film captures the mood and feeling of this era with some spot on dialogue, scenes and cinema-graphic feel.

The story is about a young girl, Minnie (Bel Powley), who wants to be touched, love and be loved. Her father Pascal (Christopher Meloni) is long out of the picture and his former wife Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) lives the life of partying with drugs and drink. Minnie’s younger sister Gretel (Abby Watt) and she lead their own lives although they are just teenagers.

Charlotte's boyfriend, joining her in this chosen lifestyle, is a vitamin pill producer named Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard). When Monroe makes slight advances towards Minnie, she responds with enthusiasm and their affair starts. Minnie likes her budding sexuality and her sex with Monroe becomes her life's focus. Monroe just cannot seem to help himself around Minnie.

She documents this new adventure and change in her life by drawing cartoons in her notebook and recording her thoughts on cassette tapes. When her mom finds out what has happened, the expected blowup transpired and then takes some odd turns. Minnie works through her pain in her own way. What struck me about the film was the way it was shot.

The director and cinematographer, really captured the way films looked back in the 1970’s. The strengths of the performances effectively carried the theme and attitudes of the era.

Powley was fantastic as the girl looking for love and affection. She created a strong feeling of young angst while also displaying the ability to grow into a new level of maturity. Wiig was strong as a mother of the 70’s. She was able to exemplify the sense of the era. I know because I was a young father in the 70’s as well. Skarsgard was very good as the guy who couldn’t help himself around the young sexually charged Minnie. Watt was perfect as the annoying, yet loving, sister. Meloni was effective as the guilt-ridden intellectual absent father. Marielle Heller wrote a strong script displaying a great feel for the era as well as Minnie’s view of the world. In her direction, Heller did a great job of creating a perfect sense and feel of the times.

Overall:  Although a difficult film to watch, the strong story makes up for it.