"The Diary of a Teenage Girl" is receiving rave reviews for its cast which features Kristin Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård and Bel Powley, and it's also being noticed for its daring subject matter.
"I’m so thankful someone finally made a movie about teenage female sexuality -- it’s not something people talk about," Powley said in a recent interview with TeenVogue.
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl" tells the story of a 15-year-old Minnie Goetze whose perspective on her life and freedom changes dramatically when she loses her virginity to her mother's 30-something-year-old boyfriend. Powley is quick to clarify that, "We’re not trying to promote an under-age girl sleeping with a man 20- years her senior." Instead, she says to The Telegraph, "it’s about Minnie’s coming of age, about her discovering her sexuality."
The movie makes a point to celebrate sexual experience and desire in young women (see the below posts from the film's Instagram account).
"I had one intention, which was to tell an honest story about a teenage girl and what it feels like to be a teenage girl," Marielle Heller, the film's director, told the New York Times.
Powley has received tremendous praise for her portrayal. She has also expressed appreciation for the way the film dives into teen female sexuality.
“It’s really taboo to talk about girls having sexual feelings at that age, though we’ll very happily talk about boys -- boys wanting to have sex, boys getting horny,” Powley told the New York Times in an interview at Sundance.
Heller echoed this sentiment in an interview with LA Times this week: "We're definitely afraid of [teenage girls'] sexuality, and so teenage girls are either shown in this really virginal state or this really slutty state, but it's never what it actually felt like to be a teenage girl as a full human...You're just as complete of a person as a teenage boy."
"In the end, [Minnie] learned to love herself, which is one of the most important things that you can do as a woman in society,” Powley says of her character's development. “We try to push such crazy ideals onto young women; the Hollywood version of what they should look like, what they should do, and the kind of Prince Charming they should be looking for...we should just be proud of who we are, because we can't be anybody else. So what’s the point of trying?”
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl" hits theaters August 7.
Also on HuffPost: