In 2010, Marielle Heller
starred in a theatrical adaptation of The Diary of a Teenage Girl
: An Account in Words and Pictures
, an autobiographic-ish coming-of-age tale based on Phoebe Gloeckner
’s celebrated graphic novel. From this show came Heller’s chance to re-reimagine the novel for movie audiences, this time as director. In addition to the usual pitfalls of page-to-screen adaptations, Heller’s closeness to the material as filtered through another medium could have made her directing debut little more than an exercise in filmed theatre. It speaks to the mutability of that source material, Heller’s skill, or more likely, both, that The Diary of a Teenage Girl
isn’t just a fully formed and realized movie, but a really terrific one to boot.
The tag “Sundance favourite” has become something of a double-edged honor; as soon as you show someone the derivative poster for The Diary of a Teenage Girl