The Movie: 8/10
Alive. That’s the word I would use for the feeling I get from this movie. It might not be the best description for a review, but it’s all I got. I am inspired by stories of people who tell the truth of their lives. If this is all 100% true, from the life of the author of the book, I’m not sure, but it feels true. A teenage girl has a lot of shit going through her mind. I was one, I know. The fantasies, the feelings of being a child mixed with sexuality coming into the picture, it’s all very difficult to sort and deal with. I am in love with the way our leading young lady faces and drives forward with her emotions, blind to the ultimate consequences, but wise about how she makes her decisions based on the life she has already lead in 15 years.
She doesn’t have the best examples of adulthood around her, but who does really? She’s got a mother who is trying to find her youth again, an ex step father who overthinks and analyzes everything too much, an absent father, and a current mother’s boyfriend who is basically an immature asshole. She’s kind of on her own with the whole growing up thing and she’s going at it full throttle. We get a mixture of her artwork and fantasies swirling around in her head, but not so much it dominates the style of the movie. There are sketches that come to life and drawings here and there but it fits in with her emotional state at that time. I’m into art, so I like that:)
The relationships are honest and hard to cope with when you know how life works as an adult. A young girl exploring her sexuality unchecked and un-tethered to someone who cares enough to give her good advice. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing theoretically, but in the real world full of terrible men, yes, it’s a bad thing. She feels and therefore she does. This is the teenage girl motto really. We all had those years and we all can identify, at least with what is going through her mind. She does leave a trail of evidence of her exploits and every thought, thus the name of the movie includes the word DIARY. So, this means at some point her inner most thoughts and desires might be seen by the world and that is the place where all of us might not identify. I mean, we all have thoughts of sex and intimacy and wanting and fear and all that when we are too young to understand it all. That’s just it, it’s all THINKING, not doing or putting our thoughts out there for anyone to ever ever ever know about. She does the raw thing though, raw emotions exposed and vulnerable. I like that.
I like this movie, and the story it contains, and the acting, and the music, and the performers. Hmm what else is there to like? I would say particularly the entire cast elevates every single scene, so no one stands out above the others. Skarsgard has a delicate character to play for sure and he does it beautifully. Wiig is amazing as the mom who wants to be young again but has some pain in her heart too. Bel Powley, definitely steals the show, and makes me want to see her in more movies for sure.
It’s good. Watch it.
- Marielle’s Journey: Bringing The Diary To Life (23 Minutes) – A close look at the making of this movie. Topics covered include the translation of the story from book to stage play and finally to film. This also covers the director and has a lot of interesting interviews with the cast.
- LA Film Festival Q&A With Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard & Director Marielle Heller (25 Minutes) – Jenelle Riley sits down at the L.A Film Festival and interviews director and cast, Some great stuff here for fans of Skarsgard.
- Commentary With Cast & Director – A very fun commentary track that is especially fun during the films many sex scenes.
- Deleted Scenes (6 Minutes) – 3 deleted scenes titled, Domino Vs The City, Charlotte’s Making Dinner, And Minnie & Friends.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Cover: Love it. I would have this as a poster.
Menu: Cute. It has the drawings from our leading young lady’s sketchbook.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Shot using the Red Epic camera, The Diary of a teenage girl is an interesting looking image that looks like it was shot on actual film. Using the brown colorscape of the 1970’s the film is dripping in detail and every shot looks like something from a Wes Anderson movie. Using the AVC codec at 1080P the whole film is sharp and full of fine detail, black levels are great and noise and artifacting are very minimal. This is not a perfect looking film by any means but it’s impressive for what it’s trying to do.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is very lifelike and captures a lot of subtle dialog and background detail. There are quite a few music tracks in the movie that seem a little muffled and unclear but the dialog which honestly is the star of the show is clear centered and never under-powered.
Overall Score 8/10