‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ explores sex in the ’70s


Sam Emerson/Sony Pictures Classics via AP

This photo provided by Sony Pictures Classics shows, Kristen Wiig, from left, as Charlotte Goetze, Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze and Alexander Skarsgard as Monroe, in a scene from the film, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” The movie releases in U.S. theaters on Aug. 7.

Erik Calderon, A&E Editor

Note to myself: stay away from teenage girls! When I say stay away, I mean stay far, far away.

That’s what I got out of this movie. As a patron of the arts, and looking for entertainment, this film definitely did not fit the bill. Would I pay to watch this film? Never. It’s an emotional roller coaster. It’s about a 15-year-old girl having an affair with her mom’s boyfriend. How much more can this film be messed up?

If you’re into suspense, psychotic sex thrillers drugs then this film is for you and not one bit for me.

It’s the story of Minnie (Bel Powley) exploring her world of sexuality and rebellion. Minnie’s mom, Charlotte (Kristen Wiig) is bringing up two girls from different fathers. She has a boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) that is in love with her. One night, Charlotte is not interested in going out for drinks with him, and invites her daughter to go with him in her stead. The rest is history.

The opening scene of the film successfully draws you into the story, which I don’t like at all. Every scene is an emotional volcano, did I say roller coaster already? I have to repeat myself, because that’s how well the actors played it. The actors did so well, I completely forgot that they were acting.

This film is Marielle Heller directorial debut. She is also credited for writing the script. For a first-time director, she is amazing and I’m looking forward to the next project she works on.

The film — minus the story — is a work of art. It takes place in the ’70s, and boy, does it take place in the ’70s. It’s easy to see how much detail went into recreating the ’70s. It’s realistic, it felt like I was there. Not only was the set design phenomenal, but the color scheme or “look” of the film matched the feel of the ’70s so well. I am still mesmerized by it.

Brandon Trost shot the film on a red epic with a 55mm lens. He shot most of the film at an ISO of 2,000 with a few night shots at 3,200. Brandon said that he used mostly ambient light, with a few lights far from the actors so they would feel comfortable. Most of the scenes in the film were shot on an Easyrig.

I do not recommend this film for its subject matter. It’s by far a masterpiece when it comes to filmmaking. The picture, set design, camera movements along with acting are amazing. The mood is created to make you feel like you are there. So, for studies in filmmaking, I do recommend this film, or if you want to watch a film about sex and drugs, then you just might like this for entertainment.