Marielle Heller’s debut film of a young girl coming to terms with her sexuality as she sleeps with her mother’s boyfriend is a amazing introspective into a young girl’s mind. Bel Powley stars as the the titular teenage girl who begins discovering her love for sex as she goes about the world in 1970’s San Fransisco.
Most coming of age films that focus on teenagers focus on love or family, which this one does too, but not in the way commonly seen. Very few times do the film’s involve a young girl discovering her sexuality without slut-shaming.
Bel Powley heads the film as Minnie, a 15 year-old cartoonist who discovers her love for sex after sleeping with her mother’s 35 year-old boyfriend (Alex Skarsgard). The film does the delicate job of not slut-shaming Minnie or glamorizing the fact she’s sleeping with a 35 year-old man.
Bel Powley is supported by a superb Kristen Wiig, who plays her bohemian mother, who is rather unresponible and has a nact for partying. While it may not be a career best performance, it is a pretty good one, which Wiig delivers subtly and proficiently.
Alexander Skarsgard gives a solid performance as Wiigs boyfriend. By not making his character into a stereotypical pedophile, he helps keep the story on Powley and what she’s going through.
The film has an overall great message. The film could’ve derailed at many times, but kept focus on the fact that sexuality is not a bad thing, and that love doesn’t complete you as a person.
The film is one that all young girls should see, as it’s wonderful performances aided by a wonderful message that makes it wonderful.