Monday, December 31, 2007
Movie Reviews: JUNO
Juno (Ellen Page) is a smart teenager facing a tough decision: what to do after she gets pregnant from a classmate (Michael Cera). Deciding to give the baby up for adoption to a rich couple (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner), she has the full support of both her parents (Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons). But is giving the child away really what she wants to do deep down in her heart?
Cast Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons (more)
Director(s) Jason Reitman
Writer(s) Diablo Cody
Status In theaters (limited)
Release Date Dec. 5, 2007
Running Time 92 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for mature thematic material, sexual content and language
Juno is a witty and smart mouth charmer of a movie that is enjoyable from start to finish. Directed by Jason Reitman (Thank you for Smoking) Juno has a confident sense of itself, much like the title character. The film feels like a more significant meaningful Napoleon Dynamite sans the pointless absurdity. The plot is fairly well traveled and a story with a similar plot can be found on Lifetime at any time during Saturday afternoons. What makes Juno stand out is its ability to take your preconceived notion about where plot and character are supposed to go and give you something unexpected. This is obviously most apparent with Juno herself; played with an incredible sense of confidence by the ever impressive Ellen Page. Page made a fantastic splash in the wonderful Hard Candy and here she's just as impressive. She delivers Diablo Cody's dialogue with such ease that you almost assume she was just making it up as she goes along. She commands the screen and film throughout and isn't afraid to show her characters softer side as well, let's hope she continues to make smart career choices because she can flat out act. Ellen Page is hardly the only one delivering great work here, J.K. Simmons Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, who makes the most of his precious few scenes; really give life to their ancillary characters. Sadly for us fans of Arrested Development Cera and Bateman get no screen time together but they do play projections of each other in an odd way. Jennifer Garner also gives a solid performance as the potential adoptive mother, she easily could have gone very cliché with this role but she projects such an honest sense of longing that it's hard to dismiss her as a throwaway character. Juno is the kind of movie that leaves you feeling content after having watched, having enjoyed the entire, albeit too short, journey.