The Diary of a Teenage Girl video interviews writer/director Marielle Heller and actors Bel Powley and Alexander Skarsgard
Coming-of-age dramas are nothing new, nor are those that are adapted from best-selling novels, and it’s probably no coincidence that many of the better of these films make their debut at the Sundance International Film Festival, so the fact that The Diary of a Teenage Girl was one of the most talked about films at this year’s Sundance isn’t too surprising. Those who know the original source material, Phoebe Gloeckner’s illustrated novel of the same name, though, will probably be pleasantly surprised by how much the movie gets right.
Written and directed by first-timer Marielle Heller, who previously adapted Gloeckner’s novel into a play, it stars newcomer Bel Powley as Gloeckner’s semi-fictional heroine Minnie Goetz, who as a teenager growing up in ’70s San Francisco had an affair with her mother’s older boyfriend Monroe, played in the film by Alexander Skarsgard.
As with Gloeckner’s novel, The Diary of a Teenage Girl does not gloss over or candy coat the somewhat taboo relationship between a teenager and a significantly older man, but it also isn’t a heavy or serious drama as there’s a lot of funny moments (many of them thanks to Kristin Wiig, who plays Minnie’s mother). Heller also proves to be quite a talented filmmaker in terms of getting performances out of her cast–especially Powley, who is a true breakthrough in the film–and helping to create the mood of the San Francisco setting with a terrific vintage soundtrack.
The film features a lot of Gloeckner’s artwork brought to life using animation which also helps give the film its distinct look and tone, while also making it a great companion film to another of this year’s Sundance standouts, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. If you’re a fan of other graphic novel adaptations like Ghost World and American Splendor or female-centric coming-of-age films like An Education, then The Diary of a Teenage Girl will probably fit right into your wheelhouse.
ComingSoon.net sat down with Heller, Powley and Skarsgard earlier this week for the interview below in which they spoke about how the project came together.
(Because I’m an idiot, I accidentally called Bel’s character “Mimi” in the above interview, which I did it again when speaking to original “Diary of a Teenage Girl” author Phoebe Gloeckner in a short bonus interview you can watch below.)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl opens in New York and L.A. on Friday, August 7, and will expand after that.