Powerful, exhausting, ecstatic, twisted and unerringly honest, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" is a rare film indeed, a look at a young girl's messy coming of age told completely from the young girl's point of view.
Writer/director Marielle Heller, in her captivating debut film "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," hits exactly the right tone for a complicated balancing act, and for a film that could very easily have gone wrong.
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl" is a breakthrough moment in the culture in that it depicts youthful female sexuality ... not just with the unapologetic frankness the boys usually get, but with an awareness of all the places a girl's urges will take her ...
An honest and personal and unblurred examination (even through that druggy blur) of a tricky voyage into womanhood.
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl" is as rewarding as it is squirm-inducing for its honesty, audacity and artful portrayal of adolescence from a girl's point of view.
Films often fail to capture the turmoil of being a teenager - but not this one.
Seldom has teenage sexual awakening been covered from a female perspective - with a fickle alternating confidence, self-doubt and voracious appetite - quite so frankly or delicately.
There is a kind of achievement in depicting a sexual relationship between an adult man and his girlfriend's daughter in a way that makes it feel neither predatory nor twisted... Whether it is a thing worth achieving is another question.
Expect to feel uncomfortable watching Diary of a Teenage Girl, which is precisely the point of this finely etched debut feature by writer/director Marielle Heller.