Saturday, December 29, 2007

Review: Juno

While killing time until the Patriots game starts, here's a couple of reviews.

"Juno" is the first film written by Diablo Cody, and directed by Jason (Son of Ivan) Reitman. It's already been nominated for beaucoups of awards (including the Golden Globes), so I was a little nervous about seeing it. Would it live up to those awards?

In a word: YES! And an emphatic yes.

Here's the story: 16-year-old Juno finds herself pregnant after one encounter with her friend Bleeker. (She explains in the voice-over that she really wasn't "in" to him, but was bored one afternoon). She decides that she wants to go thru with the pregnancy, and give her baby to a couple that wants to have one. She and her BFF Leah check out the ads in the "Pennywise" free newspaper, and find an ad from a pair of yuppies who are desperate to be parents. Or are the both so anxious? Anyway, the film follows her pregnancy and the ups and downs of teen life.

There is not one performance that was off. Everyone - from the incredibly talented lead Ellen Page to small parts, like Bleeker's mom - are wonderful. Page has gotten a lot of well-deserved recognition for creating a unique yet realistic teen. (It will be interesting to see what she does in subsequent parts - if she's a one-note actor) This film would not succeed without her. Her parents are fantastic - Allison Janney and JK Simmons are so supportive of Juno, yet they still bring humor and lightness to their roles. There's a great scene where Juno tells them she's pregnant; afterwards, we see the parents compare notes. Both suspected that was what she was going to say, but "hoped" she'd been expelled or was doing drugs! And Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner are terrific as the potential parents.

The story is carried off with humor and heart. Her family treats the situation with such warmth - totally supporting her. There were several moms and teenaged daughters seeing it together - and I think the film would be a fantastic springboard to some in-depth discussions.

"I laughed, I cried." Cliche, but true. This MAY end up being one of my favorite films of the year!



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