Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Juno is that indie misfit movie that you fear it is except it is very good and very funny. The script by Diablo Cody is a lot of fun. The story moves very well and the comedy accompanies and surrounds the drama but never smothers it. Many of the little details that make up the world of Juno are really brilliant and it's easy to appreciate the writing effort. In fact the film feels very written for better or worse. But what is really nice is that the quirky details actually pay off in some form. In retrospect, There are some structural short cuts towards the end but they are easy to forgive. When Juno finds out that her perfect couple is splitting up she is faced with a dilemma. How does she overcome this dilemma? She pulls over to the side of the road and thinks about it for a while and then decides it's ok. I guess you could say she grew up in that moment but it felt like a bit of a short cut to me. Jason Reitman, does a good job of allowing the film to play both seriously and ridiculously by finding the right tone. Consider the entire scene where Bateman tells Juno he is leaving. It walks a fine line. There are however two scenes that just don't work. The opening scene at the drugstore with Rainn Wilson tries too hard but there are some funny bits. Also the asian girl picketing the abortion clinic doesn't work - but Ellen Page saves it with her story of the Cracken. Ellen Page plays Juno in pretty much the same way as her character in Hard Candy. For the most part she is believable as a 16 year old but a more heightened, sped-up version. The supporting cast is all very good, especially Michael Cera and Jason Bateman. I heard a film critic say that either Michael Cera is the best actor in the world or he is just like his character in this movie. In either case, it's important that you like him for this film to work. I liked him. The soundtrack is good too, mostly the Moldy Peaches, but there is a kinks song (well respected man) and I'm glad somebody stole them back from Wes Anderson.


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