director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby
Writer: Diablo Cody
Let’s say you were a 16 year old highschool girl and you just discovered you were preggers by your best friend who is also your Chemistry Lab partner. Would you…
a.) try to hang yourself with a noose made of red-vines.
b.) drive your blue previa minivan to the nearest quickie mart and drown your troubles in a blue slushie
c.) stuff your baby daddy’s mailbox with $150 worth of orange flavored tic-tacs
d.) Wait for your baby daddy to come out of his house at 6am in an armchair on his front lawn while wearing a sweater vest and holding an unlit pipe in your mouth.
e.) All of the above.
If you chose e.), you are...
Juno Macguff is a 16 year old Minnesotan highschool student that gets preggers by her nerdy track star boyfriend Paulie Bleeker(Michael Cera). After deciding she doesn’t want an abortion, Juno decides to give the baby up for adoption to a well to do couple who live in the same area. With the support of her father, step mom and bff, Juno learns what it is like to go through the experience of being a teenage cream-puff.
Why this movie is flipping awesome:
Ellen Page is brilliant as Juno. She acts her role with intelligence, sensitivity and maturity in such a way that she really captures the spirit of a bright young girl who is thrust into adulthood prematurely. Her acting choices are so interestingly unique and insightful. She does a great job at not just emotionally responding, but physicalizing her actions also. She is a real pleasure to watch. A very inspiring performance from an actor’s standpoint as well.
Michael Cera, who plays Juno’s baby daddy Bleeker, is the perfect foil for Juno’s sarcastic humor. He is so sensitive in his acting, every moment lands with him like a pool of mountain spring water freshness. He is a real gem to watch and the scenes between him and Ellen Page are very intimate, humorous, realistic, and heartwarming. Awesome actor he is.
Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner play the wealthy husband and wife couple who want to adopt Juno’s baby. They seem like a happy couple on the outside, but we see that their differences run deeper than first impressions would suggest. Their scenes are so excruciatingly human you really feel for them in their own separate ways.
J.K. Simmons and Allison Janey both pair up to play Juno’s father and step-mom. They are the awesomest parents in the world in their support for their daughter. And each of them brings a whole bunch of damn good acting to the table. J.K. Simmons does a fine job at playing a father who is deeply worried for his daughter and who strives to stay strong and yet emotionally available. Allison Janey is the best step mom in the world who supports her daughter as if she were her own child. Good down home folks.
Olivia Thirlby plays Juno’s BFF. She is so cute as a highschool teenager who has an obsession for older men. A very good performance capturing the innocence and general silliness of teenage girlhood. Her playful ways compliment Juno’s more serious demeanor. She and Page have awesome scene’s as well.
In addition to the above cast, there are tons of smaller roles that are interesting and yet truthfully played as well. It is clear that all the actors involved from the stars to the day players were brilliantly cast and highly proficient.
This DVD comes with some pretty cool features. There are plenty of extra scenes and also a bunch of hilarious bloopers. The commentary by director Michael Cera and Writer Diablo Cody is very interesting and entertaining. A large part of the commentary deals with little details that went into making the movie. It is clear the process was one of passion and fun.
I really liked this movie. There are some films you watch and you know just from watching them that the whole filmmaking process must have been a real special experience for all the cast and crew involved. Juno(2007) is one of these movies. Ellen Page as Juno as well as all the other cast team up to do some awesome acting and make a heartwarming and inspiring movie about family, love, and the joys of teenage pregnancy. This is a finely acted, heartwarming, independent family comedy that has a sarcastic, playful edge to it. The story and writing are really awesome too and all these components work together to create a truly superb film.
Other movies I would recommend if you liked this one are:
You Can Count on Me, Hard Candy, Forrest Gump, American Beauty, Terms of Endearment, The Cider House Rules