Juno (2007)

Tony, 14. January 2008, 19:29
I caught Juno this weekend down at the Cannery. It was one of those movies that I’ve been interested in but never heard another friend say that they wanted to see it. My students have talked about it quite a bit recently, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The movie is good. Very smartly written- in fact, sometimes Juno comes across as being too sarcastic and too witty, really. The boyfriend, played by Michael Cera, doesn’t do very much in the movie, which was strange to me since he gets second-to-top billing. Still, everyone in the movie plays their role well, especially Jennifer Garner, who does a much better job at dramatic here than she did in Catch and Release. Ellen Page, of course, is spot on as well.

There’s a lot to this movie, really. More than just teenage sex and abortion. The last big conversation between Juno and her dad is quite amazing, and almost had me going to see the movie again the next day.

Reid

Dir. Jason Reitman
6/10

Before I go into comments and responses to Tony, I’ll just say that most idiots would probably enjoy this more than me–especially Chris; I’d recommend this film to him. You can wait to see it on dvd, or if you really want to go the movies this is not a bad choice.

***
Tony mentioned that the Juno is almost too sarcastic and witty, and I agree. Her dialogue felt like a team of sitcom gag writers were behind it, and it interfered with the more serious moments in the film. Like characters in a sitcom, she seemed primarily seemed a vehicle for smart ass dialogue, rather than having more dimensions of a real life character. Or perhaps the problem was with actor, Ellen Page, who played Juno. Her moments of vulnerability and humanity didn’t convince me. She had the verve and cocksure attitude to deliver the funny lines, but not the insecurity or vulnerability of the more poignant moments, like say Thora Birch’s perofrmance as Enid in Ghostworld.

That’s a shame as their are some good dramatic moments in the film. I agree with Tony’s comment about Jennifer Garner, but I want to also mention Jason Bateman. They’re nothing flashy about the acting her, nor are their characters exceptionally interesting. They’re normal people and Bateman and Garner make them real. I also appreciated the subtlety in the acting and directing. When asked if he’s ready to be a father, Bateman’s reaction suggests that he’s not. The scene where the couple is painting the nursery also demonstrates their estrangement.

I liked the fact that the filmmakes straddled the line between witty comedy and a more serious drama, but, ultimately, it had uneven results. If the filmmakers would have toned down the Juno’s dialogue, they helped the dramatic moments without losing the comedic ones. By the way, I found the dialogue funny in the beginning of the film, but it grew tiresome, and I rarely laughed.

Oh, one other thing. I really liked the soundtrack. It was amusing and totally fit the mood of the film.

Pen
Juno: Loved it! Yes, a little contrived, but still believable and sparkling. It’s the way we all wish we could speak off-the-cuff. Ellen Page does a great job with Juno and the family interaction is great.

  1. No Comments

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.