The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2014)

If the movies have hammered home one thing this year, it’s that society is scared and somewhat mystified by young female sexuality. It’s a topic also tackled in Mustang (keep an eye out for that one), but Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl is another lively tale of sexual awakening that’s well worth some share of the spotlight. Most noticeably, Heller’s film does not judge Minnie, its young protagonist played by Bel Powley, for her actions. Minnie may be fascinated by sex and the adult world, but Heller is unsentimental about it. She’s neither exploitative or shying away from the truth. Rather, she indeed lets her protagonist live, breathe, and do what she wishes to do, without the sense of a bigger force looming over the film, deeming what is right and wrong to show. As Minnie, Bel Powley is unbridled and magnetic, a free-wheeling force of nature. Watch out Hollywood, you’ve got competition.

Rating: 4/5

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