Review Roundup: Is 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' Worth Delving Into?
Alexander Skarsgard made headlines earlier this week when he dressed in drag at his premiere to pay homage to "Rocky Horror" and the San Francisco drag scene - but it sounds like his latest film, the Marielle Heller-directed "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," will keep him and his costars in the news.
The comedy-drama, based on Phoebe Gloeckner's explicit novel, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures," has received rave reviews from critics and a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, based on a daughter's affair with her mom's boyfriend, stars Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard and Austin Lyon.
"It seems odd that a film with so much immorality would be so filled with stylistic whimsy and humorous quirks. 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' veers into dark and edgy territory, yet its light, 'Sundancey' touch is undeniable: the musical montages, the cartoon animations that come to life, and the off-beat sense of humor. The first-half is disturbingly glamorous, but as the fantasy withers, so too do the indie romance conventions." --Josh Cabrita, TheYoungFolks.com
"In broad narrative strokes, 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' tells a straightforward coming-of-age story that strikes many of the beats familiar to that genre. (Besides American Splendor, another companion film would be Andrea Arnold's blistering 2009 drama 'Fish Tank,' which also involves a teenage girl entering into an affair with her mom's much older boyfriend.) But it's the way it strikes those beats that makes Diary a compelling, if sometimes predictable, viewing experience. --Ethan Alter, filmjournal.com
"'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' achieves its balance of sweet and harsh so expertly that Heller's biggest contribution could have just been navigating the subtle yet frequent tonal shifts between and within scenes. Challenging as this might have been on its own, the task wasn't enough to keep Heller from making "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" as thoughtfully shot as it is written. An earthy palette and Brandon Trost's low, hazy lighting make the movie look as era appropriate as the set design, but Heller's resistance to using stagey or showy camera work puts the whole of the production ahead of any individual component." --Sam Woolf, wegotthiscovered.com