Tag: sexual awakening

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

April 7th, 2016 — 6:22pm

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The Diary of a Teenage Girl – nf

On one hand this very well done film gets into the head and feelings of this 15-year-old girl as she has her first sexual experience. We can imagine that so many teenagers will identify with the excitement, bewilderment and glorious feelings that she relates into her tape recorder as she tries to preserve the special moments. As well done as this depiction and as universal as these feelings may be, her particular situation was certainly nowhere typical. The setting was San Francisco in the 1970s and her first lover is her mother’s boyfriend. What follows is more and more sex, parties, drugs and some same-sex sex.

One would hope that all of this will not reflect the typical teenage experience. However, we would be naïve not to believe that the modern teenager may very well know some version of the scene. It is ironic that most teenagers could not be admitted to this R-rated movie. The star of this film is Bel Powley, an experienced actress who was in her early 20s when she portrays 15-year-old Minnie. Her immature party mom is played by Kristen Wiig and the boyfriend who was more of a period piece than an outright cad was played by Alexander Skaarsgard.

Credit for the success of this movie is first time director Marielle Heller, who also wrote the screenplay based on a novel by Phoebe Gloeckner. To give you an idea of her accomplishments, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, in addition to  nominating Ms. Heller for Best Woman Director and Best Woman Screenwriter, also nominated this film for Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality or Seduction – a well-deserved award.

This movie goes beyond these accomplishments and captures the complicated universal joy and wonder of sexual awakening. (2015)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama


September 6th, 2010 — 3:02am

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– nf – This is a very effective and sensitive film about the sexual awakening of Jasira, a 13 year Arab-American girl, played very well by Summer Bishil. The setting is Houston, Texas in 1990-91 during the first Gulf War where Jasira has just moved in with her divorced father. The movie as the title suggests is also about racism as we see the thinking and interactions of the main characters. They are her father, an overbearing Arab American proud of his Lebanese background but with little sensitivity or understanding of his daughter, an unhappily married next door neighbor army reservist who is acting out his attraction to Jasira, Thomas the new black high school boyfriend of Jasira who is also ready to act out his attraction and feelings towards Jasira despite the rejection by her father and finally the other couple on the block, which includes a pregnant women, who are more empathic towards Jasira and are trying to protect her. The movie is based on a novel by Alicia Erian with the screenplay and the direction by Alan Ball . There are several well done painful moments in the film .While the storyline may not be universal, it will not be hard to appreciate the struggle of this young women as she encounters her desires and certain realities of life. If you view it now, most of you will probably be seeing this movie on Netflix where you will have the opportunity to view two long drawn out panel discussions led by Director Alan Ball about the use of the title which is a serious racist slur. The points made are quite worthwhile and can be summarized in the first six or eight minutes of the first discussion which also include some interesting comments by Summer Bishil. 2007

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

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