The Diary of a Teenage Girl Blu-ray Review
Set in 1970’s San Francisco, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL follows Minnie (Bel Powley), a 15-year old girl who has a creative passion for comic book artistry and is curious about love and sex. She explores these typical teenage emotions by entering into an affair with her mom’s boyfriend.
THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL has received some high accolades from many film circles. I don’t seem to share the sentiment. I don’t deny that the art direction and performances are strong, particularly from newcomer Bel Powley. The overall look and feel of the 70’s era is authentic. However, at the core of a film about a young female finding her sexuality is a fifteen-year-old having sex with her mother’s boyfriend. The film does a decent enough job making it not seem quite as terrible as it should, but the simple problem is that the act is very terrible and trying not to make is look so, might be just as shameful.
Kristen Wiig is quickly putting up a long list of diverse roles in her resume, here playing the irresponsible mother. Alexander Skarsgard does a nice job of bringing humanity and sympathy to a character that generally would not receive any. Christopher Meloni has a strong presence in a brief role as the absent father. But the standout is Bel Powley who bravely encompasses the young wide-eyed Minnie, stepping to the beat of her own drum and bringing a different female perspective on sexuality.
Director Marielle Heller wonderfully creates another character with her portrayal of 1970’s San Francisco through costuming and attitude. The animated scenes bring an energy to the film that for all purposes is technically well put together. In a lot a ways I truly appreciate THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, I just really dislike the content of casual underage sex between an adult and a child.
Based on a novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, I won’t deny that the story might have more of a personal impact to which with some might identify, but the film is irresponsible in its portrayal of such a serious situation. The conclusion is far too simple for an act that will undoubtedly have a long lasting effect and repercussions on all that are involved, not only between the mother and the daughter but also for the younger little sister. I understand the film isn’t condoning this type of relationship but I don’t think it did a good job of deterring it through being an honest portrayal.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p 2.40:1) A great looking film that captures the color palette of the era.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) A dialogue driven film that is heard clearly. Sometimes the music in the film feels like a burst of loudness, which feels slightly uneven.
Commentary with Director Marielle Heller and Actors Bel Powley & Alexander Skarsgard: With actors, commentaries are always light and fun… or at least they think they are fun or being funny. The director does manage to get in technical aspects as well but fans of the film will probably be engaged.
Deleted Scenes (5:35): Three short scenes that you can choose separately – Domino vs. The City, Charlotte’s Making Dinner, and Minnie and Friends.
Marelle’s Journey: Bringing The Diary To Life (23:07): This is an extensive look at the making of the film, from its origin to its conclusion. Interviews with everyone involved talk about the adaptation, characters, casting, tone animations, the time period and many other details. This is the go to piece for fans of the film.
Q&A with Marielle Heller, Alexander Skarsgard and Bel Powley (25:19): Jenelle Riley is the moderator as she sits down the the three asking questions about the film.