Tagged: Austin Lyon

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl

Summary: When The Diary Of A Teenage Girl begins it opens with Minnie (Bel Powley) a 15 year old teenager who is very excited about the fact that she has found a guy who wanted to have sex with her. As the story pans out we soon learn that aspiring artist Minnie lives with her hippie-like mother, Charlotte (Kristen Wiig), and her slightly dorky younger sister, Gretel (Abby Wait), who likes to spy on what Minnie is doing.

So who is the guy that Minnie has lost her virginity to? Well that is soon revealed to be Charlotte’s thirty-five year old boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard), who convinces Minnie that he is in love with her and that it is okay for them to start a relationship. Once Minnie has her sexual awakening it then starts her and her best friend Kimmie (Madeleine Waters) on a destructive path of sex and drugs.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th September 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Marielle Heller

Screenwriter: Marielle Heller, Phoebe Gloeckner (characters)

Cast: Miranda Bailey (Andrea), Davy Clements (Arnie), Domino The Cat (Willie), Douglas Gawoski (John), Margarita Levieva (Tabatha), Austin Lyon (Ricky Wasserman), Christopher Meloni (Pascal), Carson Moll (Michael Cocaine), Quinn Nagle (Chuck), John Parsons (Burt), Bel Powley (Minnie), Susannah Schulman (Aline Kominsky (voice)), Alexander Skarsgard (Monroe), Abby Wait (Gretel), Madeleine Waters (Kimmie), Kristen Wiig (Charlotte), Anthony Williams (Frankie)

Runtime: 102 mins

Classification: MA15+

 

OUR THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Take note – The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is one of the most surprising films of 2015. A click glance of the cast and seeing Kristen Wiig mentioned would have you excused for thinking that this is the latest coming-of-age comedy about the young unattractive teenager trying to impress the boy she likes. Even the film’s poster backs this up and yes I found myself sitting down in the cinema expecting another film in the vein of The Way, Way Back. What I got instead was a really eye-opener of a film that dares to be gritty and different and propels itself into deserving the description – one of the films of the year.

Directed by first time director Marielle Heller and based on a novel by Phoebe Gloeckner The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is a brutally frank look at what happens to a young girl when she is molested by a person that she is supposed to trust. Heller makes a brave decision with this film, she could have made this a dark confronting film like a filmmaker such as Lars Von Trier or Larry Clarke would have, but instead Heller does something different. She instead tell the story of Monroe and Minnie’s relationship in the same way any romance film would. She shows the young girl besotted by her lover and follows their relationship so intently we even see some pretty graphic sex scenes, graphic in the sense of nudity not in the sense of violence. As Minnie tells the story of her first love it is up to the audience to pass the judgment of how wrong the relationship is because for the narrator (Minnie) this is the love affair of a life time. The fact that Heller takes this path makes the Diary Of A Teenage Girl a brilliant film that for once does something different without using that as a marketing ploy.

Heller also brings other things to the table that makes this film a gem. She capitalizes on the fact that Minnie is an aspiring artist and at times during the film brings the artwork to life in animation, a move that only enhances the fact that this sweet and innocent teenager is really creating some pretty confronting and sexual sketches. This style of filmmaking allows the audience to take an occasional break from the fact that a character they love is soon being reduced to low acts of $5 prostitution sex.

The brilliant script (which is also written by Heller) does a great job in giving the audience a view of the goings on straight from Minnie’s innocent point-of-view. We never really get to see Monroe as the stereotypical pedophilic monster that a lot of films would have used to portray him while we also get to see how he is able to get to Minnie as the fact that she sees herself as a fat and unattractive teen is subtly fed to the audience without the use of a sledgehammer. The story also provides moments of great drama. You are forever wondering what will happen when Charlotte learns about Minnie and Monroe, while some of the other characters introduced into Minnie’s life, like Tabatha (Margarita Levieva), also have you wondering exactly what they are planning on doing with Minnie.

When it comes to the cast The Diary Of A Teenage Girl also packs a lot of surprises. For a start there is no sense of comedy at all around Kristen Wiig as she portrays Charlotte, a mother who wants to experiment with drugs and live the hippy lifestyle while always on the lookout for a man who is going to take care of her. At times Wiig is virtually unrecognizable as the same actress who made us laugh so hard in Bridesmaids. Then there is  Alexander Skarsgard who portrays Monroe as your typical everyday lovable loser, the kind of guy you know is never going to amount to anything but certainly wouldn’t suspect of sleeping with a 15 year old girl. Skarsgard turns creepy without turning up the creepiness factor if that makes sense?

Then there is the acting performance of young Bel Powley who deals with a lot in this film. From scenes consisting of her standing naked for a few minutes at a time to the constant barrage of put downs about her appearance this is one role that Powley needs to be rewarded for. A relative unknown until she played Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out earlier this year Powley’s strong dramatic and daring performance here not only deserves to win her awards but should also be a breakout performance for her in the same way Juno was for Ellen Page. Powley announces herself as an actress to watch in with one hell of a performance.

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is a must for anyone that likes alternative cinema and doesn’t mind making some brave descisions. The film will be hard to watch for some but is also a fim that will completely stun its audience. Thought provoking and confronting The Diary Of A Teenage Girl not only reveals Bel Powley as an actress to watch but also announces Marielle Heller as a filmmaker to watch.

 

Stars(5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(5)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Diary Of A Teenage Girl reviews: You can listen to our full The Diary Of A Teenage Girl  review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #147. You can also read our The Diary Of A Teenage Girl review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Pitch Perfect 2

Summary: The pitches are back! Set three years later than the original film Pitch Perfect 2 finds the Barden Bellas, now led by Beca (Anna Kendrick), as three time National A Cappella champions. They have finally arrived and get to showcase their skills at a gala attended by President Barrack Obama, but that is when everything goes horribly wrong and Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) suddenly finds herself unwillingly flashing the Prez.

With most of America convinced that it was deliberate the Bellas suddenly find themselves suspended from the collegiate a cappella circuit and being replaced on their national tour by the current German champions Das Sound Machine, led by their bitchy leaders (Birgitte Hjort Sorenson and Flula Borg). As if Das Sound Machine don’t get in their face again the Bellas are told the only way they can get back onto the circuit is if they become the first American group to ever win the World Championships.

The task seems impossible as the Bellas struggle to find their sound and Beca keeps a secret internship from the rest of the group it begins to look like the Bellas aren’t going to have enough firepower to see them even compete at the championships let alone win it. Even the introduction of the talented Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) to the group doesn’t seem to be starting a fire for them. Is this the end for the Bellas?

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th May, 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Screenwriter: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin (characters)

Cast: Skylar Astin (Jesse), Elizabeth Banks (Gail), Flula Borg (Das Sound Machine), Rachel Marie Burgess (Taylor), Anna Camp (Aubrey), Jeff Caperton (David), Ester Dean (Cynthia-Rose Adams), Adam DeVine (Bumper Allen), Chrissie Fit (Flo), Karen Gonzalez (Barb), Desiree Hagadus (D-Ray), John Michael Higgins (John), Kelley Jakle (Jessica), Anna Kendrick (Beca), Alexis Knapp (Stacie), Hana Mae Lee (Lily Okanakamura), Austin Lyon (Frank), Shawn Carter Peterson (Dax), Ben Platt (Benji Applebaum), Shelley Regner (Ashley), Trip Roby (Simon), Katey Sagal (Katherine), Brittany Snow (Chloe), Birgitte Hjort Sorenson (Das Sound Machine), Hailee Steinfeld (Emily), Freddie Stroma (Luke), Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy)

Runtime: 115 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR PITCH PERFECT 2 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

With the surprise success of 2012’s Pitch Perfect there is little wonder that a sequel has surfaced. Pitch Perfect was to the female audience what American Pie was to males and slotted in nicely for those that were just that little too young for Bridesmaids. But aside from the best thing about the film was that it was unique, new and actually made its audience laugh – something that many comedies around that time certainly weren’t able to do.

Pitch Perfect 2 sees one of the stars of the first film, Elizabeth Banks, step into the director’s chair as she tries to make amends for the fact that she was one of the directors responsible for a segment in the awful Movie 43. Thankfully Banks decides not to do what most music or dance flavored sequels decide to do and she steers clear from creating an exact replica of the first film. Teaming up with the same screenwriter from the first film, Kay Cannon, Banks puts her own unique stamp on this film tipping it right over into the outrageous side of the comedy genre without forgetting that this is a film that also needs heart.

Somehow despite the fact that the seriousness of the first film seems MIA (except for the scenes between Beca and her boss) there is still a lot to like about Pitch Perfect 2. Banks and Cannon pile on the comedy with a huge amount of one-liner zingers that mostly seem to hit their mark. Cannon’s script also shows a fair bit of bravery as she makes John’s (John Michael Higgins) one-liners much more outrageous than the first film. No punches are held back as he brilliantly delivers some sexist and racist gags that take a swing at Indians, Koreans and women to just name a few. The fact that a comedy writer is still willing to take a chance and go there in this time of the nanny state certainly shows that this is a film that is willing to be a little bit different.

As is the case with most sequels somethings aren’t explored that really should be. Beca and Jesse’s (Skyler Austin) relationship seems to be pushed right onto the backburner while Cannon and Banks seem more intent in bringing forward the outlandish comedy that can be obtained with the relationship between Fat Amy and first time round bad guy Bumper’s (Adam DeVine) relationship. The film does miss the serious topics explored in the first film, such as how hard it is for someone to try and live in their parent’s footsteps and doesn’t have a memorable scenes such as Anna Kendrick’s Cup Song from the first time around, but it does deliver a laugh a moment and manages to have a fair say about the music industry with some well written scenes at the recording studio where Beca is interning.

Acting wise it almost seems like Anna Kendrick takes a step back in a franchise that is built around her character. While she is on screen for most of the film most of the memorable comedy moments go straight to Rebel Wilson which seems to be what the filmmakers wanted this time around. Still Kendrick does at times step up to the plate especially with some of her scenes with the talented Hailee Steinfeld, who shows audiences that she can also add comedic acting and singing to her many talents. Is there anything she can’t do?

Pitch Perfect 2 may not quite live up to the greatness of the original film but at least it is different enough to be kept interesting and doesn’t recycle any old storylines. The comedy is certainly ramped up to outrageous and over-the-top and to the film’s credit it does actually work. Rebel Wilson’s rise in Hollywood takes another big step-up but it is perhaps the work of Hailee Steinfeld that this film might be best remembered for. Fans of the franchise may be happy to know that the ending seems to suggest that we may soon have a Steinfeld-led Pitch Perfect 3 on our hands very, very soon.

 

Stars(3)

 

Greg King:

You can hear Greg’s full Pitch Perfect 2 review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #128

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Nick Gardener:

You can hear Greg’s full Pitch Perfect 2 review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #128

 

Stars(2.5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Pitch Perfect 2 reviews: You will also be able to hear our Pitch Perfect 2 review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #128. You can also read our review of Pitch Perfect 2 on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer: