I saw it awhile ago, but never finished my review for it, so here it is. Also a note on the film. It was only one of two films I saw that got a standing ovation when it was over. It lasted about seven minutes.
Well, I didn’t think the film would be as great as it was. With Jason Reitman as the director, and a blossoming Ellen Page as the lead, what could be bad about it? Well, the answer is nothing. As flawless a comedy movie I’ve ever seen. Constantly funny, with an interesting story and some heartwarming scenes to boot, made this film a very enjoyable experience.The direction by Jason Reitman was great, and proves he is here to stay, and not a one hit wonder. His ideas work perfectly with the already amazing screenplay. He makes sure the pacing of the film (alike thank you for smoking) is fantastic, so you’re always enjoying yourself, and you never look at your watch. Kudos to Reitman, hopefully he gets the exposure he so truly deserves.
The screenplay, written by Diablo Cody, is as I said before, simply amazing. Cody is a new writer, and hopefully she writes another script soon. Her ideas, her wit and her humor are fantastic. Not a thing in this film felt out of place, because it was so well written. Well actually, one thing really bothered me, but it was unique so I’ll let it go. The thing was how some of the characters said some of the weird ‘lingo’ I’ve ever heard. Look no further than the trailer for an example. ‘shenanigans’. Are you serious? What person says that word, let alone a high schooler? Besides this one minor flaw, the screenplay was wonderful.
A great combination of thoughts between Cody and Reitman really gave the audience something wonderful to love, along with the film. This is the soundtrack, composed mainly by The Moldy Peaches. If you’re anticipating this film a lot, I suggest you try to find some music by them, for it really sets the film’s mood really well.
The fantastic ensemble really made this film what it was. A lot of great characters played by great actors cinched the film’s perfection.Olivia Thirlby plays Juno’s best friend “Leah“, a popular girl, unlike Juno. Thirlby plays this role very well. Her delivery of some of the ‘stupid’ lines work so well with the flow of the film, it’s just a shame she was only in it for ten minutes.
Allison Janney plays Juno’s mother, well step-mother “Bren“. I can’t understand why people are predicting her, when Garner has a much better chance. Janney has about six minutes of screen time, and only one scene of her’s really stood out at all. Anyways, she’s a love/hate character. Many people will despise her presence on the screen, or they’ll love it. It all depends on how you take to her. She delivers her lines alright, but came off as a bitch to me. I really didn’t like her performance at all.
J.K. Simmons plays Juno’s father “Mac“, and as well all know, Simmons is just a comedic presence that is unmatched by soo many actors. He had slightly more screen time than Janney, and was certainly better than her. He was both very funny and very ‘wise’ in his role, something that you see often, but doesn’t really click as much. I’m glad Reitman wanted to work with Simmons again, because Simmons is just a lovable man, and really made the scenes that would ‘lag’, enjoyable.
Michael Cera plays “Paulie“, a cross country runner, and the ‘man’ who got Juno pregnant. He doesn’t have a lot of screen time, like I hoped. [shouldn’t be billed second, but it’ll draw a crowd, which is what the producers want] His role is basically like his role in Superbad; a nervous, shy guy. He plays this role as well as his role in Superbad, and if you loved him in that, I’m sure you’ll love him in this.
Jennifer Garner plays “Vanessa Loring“, the woman that Juno plans to give her child to. Garner is in fact great in this role. Don’t count her out of being nominated because you don’t like her, or because you think she looks bad, because she is in fact great. She brings a lot of sincerity to the role, and some unconventional humor. Her chemistry with both Page and Bateman is wonderful, and very realistic. If you like Garner, you won’t be disappointed with her performance here. Also to note, her character goes through some fantastic emotional changes, so just focus on her when you see the film.
Jason Bateman plays “Mark Loring“, Vanessa’s husband. If you loved him Arrested Development, you’ll love him here. His dry wit and charm transfer onto the big screen in this film. His role is the second biggest in the film, next only to Page’s. His chemistry with Page is outstanding [he spends the most time with page in the film], and so realistic. The many scenes they have together are the best in the film. Going from music, to movies to just laughing about life. The best performance he’s ever given, in my opinion.
Onto the main reason everyone wants to see the movie, Ellen Page as “Juno“. As Page said at the Q&A, she wanted this role because Juno is very similar to her, in many ways, and it shows. Her performance is fantastic, and certainly is nomination worthy. Her sarcasm is the standout of her performance. She plays a happy character with a gloomy attitude, and does it miraculously. If you loved her in Hard Candy, you should love her more in this film. Just an all around grand performance by Page. I really hope she gets more exposure as well, after this film is released.
Nominations for Juno
Best Original Screenplay ***
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Film Editing
My Rating : 9/10