“Diary of a teenage girl” is the most important coming-of-age movie in years

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Alexander Skarsgard’s movie “Diary of a teenage girl” opened the New Directors / New Films Festival in NYC last night, and following on from the reactions it received at both Sundance and Berlinale, the movie has been heaped with critical praise.

According to FilmSchoolRejects it is the “most important coming-of-age movie in years”.

When director and screenwriter Marielle Heller introduced her debut feature, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, at last night’s New Directors/New Films kickoff premiere in New York, she likened Phoebe Gloeckner’s novel to Catcher In the Rye for girls. The book, which features Gloeckner’s own original drawings and is reportedly loosely based on her own coming-of-age, making it a bit of a novel/graphic novel/autobiography hybrid, is just that seminal and that original, so it’s only fitting that Heller’s film is also an instant classic in its own right.

Heller’s film – a years-long passionate project – premiered back at Sundance in January, where it was almost instantaneously hailed as one of the best of the fest (I remember the cavalcade of tweets that clogged up my feed as soon as the film’s first screening let out, combined with the horrific panic when I realized there was no way I could make a subsequent screening of the film fit into my packed schedule) and then quickly snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics. It’s easy enough to describe the film as a coming-of-age story, but the film is deeply creative and uncomfortably honest in ways that are often missing from current coming-of-age stories. It cuts to the bone, and then it keeps going.

You can read their full review here

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The write up in the LA Times was also glowing:

On Wednesday night, the film opened the New Directors/New Films festival here, beginning its post-Sundance commercial roll-out at the MoMA-Lincoln Center event. Second viewings proved that first impressions weren’t wrong. “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” is a strong piece of cinema, human but unsentimental, stylish but not self-conscious. Its potentially shocking premise  (and graphic scenes) are handled with understatement, and its somewhat fantastical circumstance still manages to be universal. The sex may get some of the headlines, but it’s the movie’s emotional vibrations that matter.

Read their full article here

They also state the movie will be out “this summer“, so watch this space for more release date news……..

Director Marielle Heller spoke to IndieWire and Filmcomment

Drawing on her acting background, Heller elicits a truly staggering performance from newcomer Bel Powley, who carries the weight of the movie on her slight shoulders as Minnie discovers her sexuality can be a means to both self-worth and self-destruction. Kristen Wiig delivers as Minnie’s substance-dependent bohemian mother, particularly in the film’s darker second half, and Alexander Skarsgard infuses the conflicted Monroe with a great deal of sympathy and subtle comedy. (FilmComment)

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Also articles regarding “Diary” at

NYTimes    (spotlight to Youth)

TimeOut     (5 movies to see at NDNF)

PaperMag    (3 movies to see at NDNF)

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