Teen diary records emotion and humour

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl. Photo:Caviar/Cold Iron Pictures/Archer Gray/Sony Pictures Classics/The Kobal Collection/Emerson, Sam
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl. Photo:Caviar/Cold Iron Pictures/Archer Gray/Sony Pictures Classics/The Kobal Collection/Emerson, Sam

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (18, 102 mins) Drama/Comedy/Romance. Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Meloni, Madeleine Waters, Abby Wait, Margarita Levieva. Director: Marielle Heller.

No one emerges from the sprawling emotional minefield of adolescence without a few bruises and scars.

Adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner’s 2002 graphic novel, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl elegantly documents a 15-year-old’s sprint through this minefield without casting judgement on the morally flawed characters.

“I had sex today,” gushes 15-year-old Minnie Goetze (Powley), recording the first chapter of an audio diary onto cassettes, which she hides in a shoebox under her bed.

As Minnie breathlessly details events leading up to the loss of her virginity, we realise with a shudder that her first sexual partner is her mother’s 35-year-old boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard).

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is anchored by Powley’s luminous portrayal of a bud waiting to bloom in the warmth of the northern California sun.

Her heroine’s sense of fateful curiosity infuses every artful frame, catalysing terrific scenes with Wiig and Skarsgard.

Wry humour cuts through the potentially sensationalist subject matter, allowing us to view the storm through Minnie’s wide eyes before the tears well and fall.