The film’s emotional impact no doubt owes a great deal to the tour-de-force performances of Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig. Powley, whose throaty voice will remind you of another precocious icon of girlhood, Kay Thompson’s Eloise, demonstrates an impressive acting range. She can cry in a puddle on the floor in one scene, then make snarky but hilarious comments at her stepdad’s expense with equal skill in another. She is surely a young performer with much great work ahead of her. Wiig, however, is not outdone by her bright young costar. While she is known primarily for her comic roles in films like the uproarious Bridesmaids, Wiig is also a dramatic actress of considerable talent. She manages to play a mother who sees her teenage daughter both as her baby, and as a rival for men’s affections, without ever losing the audience’s sympathy. If the world were just, Wiig would certainly receive a best supporting actress nomination for this role. But the academy barely cares about films about adult women, so her brilliant performance in The Diary of a Teenage Girl may well be forgotten.
The world is open to a teenager and it can be overwhelming at times. Parents should be careful about putting too much or too little pressure on making what they think is the 'right' decisions for their teen's future.
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As a teen, I remember being so grateful The Virgin Suicides existed. Even though its ending was pessimistic, and much of its subject matter jarring, I found the film inspirational. It told me someone out there in Hollywood valued 13-year-old me. Someone out there saw me as a person, knew I was capable of being depressed, of having real needs and desires, and of recognizing when I was being oppressed by a sexist world. It was a film that didn’t condescend to me. It was a film that spoke to me.
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Minnie is a teenager living in 1970s San Francisco and has a flair for drawing cartoons. Like many teenage girls I knew growing up, Minnie worries she is unattractive and undesirable. She compares herself to her comely mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig), a young who claims to want to resist the bourgeois strictures of patriarchy, but simultaneously struggles with her addiction to male validation.