The Diary of a Teenage Girl appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Within its stylistic parameters, this became a good presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed fine. The image could appear a bit soft due to the photographic choices, but even with those, it remained well-defined. Neither jagged edges nor shimmering marred the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the movie.
With the film’s palette, we got a mix of teal and amber. Those choices seemed trite but the movie reproduced them well, so they showed appropriate clarity. Blacks were dark and rich, while low-light shots showed nice smoothness. Nothing here dazzled, but the transfer reproduced the material in a positive manner.
I also thought the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked fine. As expected, the soundscape lacked much ambition, as it mostly stayed with general environmental material. This gave us a decent sense of place but nothing more than that. Music also demonstrated good stereo imaging.
Audio quality seemed solid. Music was full and well-reproduced, while effects were concise and accurate, even if they did little to tax my home theater system. Speech was natural and distinctive. I thought this was a perfectly adequate soundtrack for a chatty character film.
In terms of extras, we find an audio commentary with director Marielle Heller and actors Bel Powley and Alexander Skarsgard. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, costumes, production design and period specifics.
Expect a pretty average commentary. On the positive side, we get a fairly good overview of various production areas, as the track covers the appropriate topics and includes some useful info. However, this comes with a lot of happy talk, as we find tons of praise for the film and all involved. There’s enough content to make the track worth a listen, but it doesn’t work as well as I’d like.
Next we get a featurette called Marielle’s Journey: Bringing the Diary to Life. It runs 23 minutes, seven seconds and includes notes from Heller, Skarsgard, Powley, producer Madeline Samit, executive producer Jorma Taccone, production designer Jonah Markowitz , director of photography Brandon Trost, and actor Kristen Wiig.
We learn about the project’s path to the screen, story and characters, cast and performances, rehearsals, cinematography and production design, shooting in San Francisco, animation, and Heller’s impact on the shoot. A little info repeats from the commentary, but “Journey” manages to deliver enough new material to turn into a solid show.
A 25-minute, 19-second Q&A features Marielle Heller, Bel Powley and Alexander Skarsgard. They touch on the source material and its move to the screen, story/characters, cast and performances, and a few other aspects of the production. This is the third time we’ve heard from Heller, Powley and Skarsgard, and they don’t have much new to say. We get a few unique tidbits, but don’t expect a lot of fresh material.
Three Deleted Scenes follow. We see “Domino vs. the City” (0:59), “Charlotte’s Making Dinner” (2:22) and “Minnie and Friends” (2:14). “Domino” gives us a “disaster movie” Minnie shoots that stars her cat; it’s vaguely amusing but wouldn’t have made sense in the final cut. “Dinner” shows multiple takes of the same segment; it’s interesting solely to see Wiig improv.
Finally, “Friends” lets us see a little more of a night on the town as well as a confrontation between Minnie and Kimmie. It adds too much melodrama to a movie already packed with over the top character moments.
The disc opens with ads for Irrational Man, Jimmy’s Hall, Truth, Infinitely Polar Bear, Grandma and Labyrinth of Lies. We also find the trailer for Diary.
Despite its innocent-sounding title, The Diary of a Teenage Girl brings a tale of sex and debauchery. The film suffers from some missteps but does enough right to keep the viewer with it. The Blu-ray offers mostly good picture and audio along with some informative supplements. Diary becomes a dark but involving journey.