The Hollywood Reporter published today a very great review for The Diary of a Teenage Girl:
In this gutsy, intimate and assured debut, Marielle Heller accomplishes just about everything every young independent filmmaker says they want to do starting out, to create a personal, fresh, distinctive work in their own “voice” that will then, of course, make their careers. Heller has pulled this off in a remarkably vibrant and frank look at one precocious teen’s emerging sexual life, a film with the stuff of life coursing through its veins and sex very much on its brain. The Diary of a Teenage Girl is the kind of film Sundance prays for every year, one that indelibly puts on the map a talented director the festival can then forever claim as one of its own. This will be one of the significant indie titles of the year and a good commercial bet, a film many young women will see more than once.
Many women might ask, where has this film been all my life, and men might well ask the same, such is the curious reader and viewer’s enduring interest in any insightful work that so frankly and uninhibitedly addresses the female sex drive, its mysteries, contradictions and complex impulses. The subject never gets old, even if American films have often skittishly avoided it or tiptoed through it lightly.
Adapting Phoebe Gloeckner’s popular and innovative 2002 “hybrid” words-and -pictures novel, which Heller adapted and starred in onstage in 2010, the writer-director jumps right in the deep end with Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley), who tells her tape recorder that she just had sex for the first time. More than that — it was with her mother’s boyfriend.