The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner’s acclaimed 2002 graphic novel, this provocative indie feature chronicles the furtive sexual relationship between a precocious 15-year-old girl (Bel Powley) and her mother’s boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard) in the anything-goes atmosphere of mid-70s San Francisco. Told from the girl’s perspective, the movie is disarmingly frank about how young women process love and sex, and by portraying the horny boyfriend as more of a goofball than a predator, it dares to show the heroine as something more complicated than a victim. As a result the movie lands somewhere outside the battle lines of contemporary gender politics, which may be why it feels true. Marielle Heller directed; with Kristen Wiig and Christopher Meloni.