How to Build a Girl

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Movie Info & Cast


Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein) is a bright, quirky, 16-year-old who uses her colorful imagination to regularly escape her humdrum life in Wolverhampton and live out her creative fantasies. Desperate to break free from the overcrowded flat she shares with her four brothers and eccentric parents, she submits an earnestly penned and off-beat music review to a group of self-important indie rock critics at a weekly magazine. Despite being brushed off initially, Johanna clamors to the top of the 90s rock music scene by reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde - a venerable, impossible-to-please music critic with an insatiable lust for fame, fortune, and men. It isn't long before the rapid pace at which Johanna's life is changing becomes overwhelming and she runs face-first into a devastatingly real, existential crisis: Is this the type of girl she wants to become? Or does she need to start over and build again from the ground up? Based on the best-selling novel by Caitlin Moran, How to Build a Girl is a sassy, sexy, and a profoundly touching coming-of-age comedy that traces the rocky road to womanhood through the lens of a unique and wildly hilarious protagonist. Co-starring Alfie Allen, Paddy Consindine, Chris O'Dowd, and Emma Thompson.


  • Beanie Feldstein
  • Cleo
  • Dónal Finn
  • Paddy Considine
  • Laurie Kynaston
  • Stellan Powell
  • Freya Perry
  • Harper Perry
  • Violet Amer
  • Sarah Solemani

Did You Know?


  • Alfie Allen (John Kite) and Frank Dillane's (Tony Rich) father Stephen Dillane appeared on Game of Thrones (2011). They played Theon Greyjoy and Stannis Baratheon respectively.
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    • Johanna Morrigan: If you think I'm funny and I can write then... then it can't be harder to learn about than the periodic table and I got a 98% on that test. I only failed on Kr. Krypton is my Kryptonite.
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Atom User Reviews

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May 6, 2020

The way it rushes from silly to vicious to sappy can put you in a tonal whirl. But it’s also fun, and not insignificant in the way it puts an unconventional heroine on screen and then gives her the agency to act both stupid and smart as she sees fit.

Metacritic review by Steve Pond
Steve Pond
Sep 11, 2019

As fun as a night in the mosh pit with your best mate ... Directed by Coky Giedroyc with a fizzy vibrancy and supercharged by Feldstein's intense charisma, this crowd-pleasing comedy has smart things to say about class, sex and female identity.

Metacritic review by Leslie Felperin
Leslie Felperin
The Hollywood Reporter
Sep 11, 2019

The trouble with a high-stakes “small” British project like this is that everyone involved tends to want to play it safe.

Fionnuala Halligan
Screen Daily