Juno, Film Review


Film Review

In these days of ASBOs and happy slapping, Juno was for me a welcome reminder of what is lovely about teenagers. Juno MacGuff, Ellen Page's fearsomely intelligent small town girl, brings it all back - the joyful overuse of elaborate sarcasm, the never-again warmth of friendships forged through long hours of enforced learning, and the cautious but exhilarating testing out of an emerging self on a bigger, scarier adult world.

The film opens with Juno taking a panicky series of pregnancy tests, after her first sexual experience with the lanky, geeky, but rather beautiful Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera of Arrested Development fame). Testing positive, she decides to "procure a hasty abortion". When she visits the local clinic, Juno is picketed by her classmate Su-Chin, who chants "All babies want to get borned!" and describes the unborn baby's fingernails. Venturing inside, Juno is made to accept a blueberry flavoured condom by the receptionist (with the advice that it will make cum taste like muffins). Put off thoroughly, Juno then selects a childless couple from the Pennysaver, Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), as adoptive parents.

The film charts the progression of the pregnancy, which sees Juno becoming closer to Mark, the commercial musician and potential adoptive dad who feels claustrophobic in his marriage to Vanessa (Jennifer Garner). As Vanessa's overwhelming maternal instincts and desire for suburban tranquillity increasingly terrify Mark, he flounders for a way out and embarks on a flirtation with Juno.

Given the name of Zeus's wife by her romantic air-conditioning technician dad, Mac MacGuff (JK Simmons), Juno lives up to this queen of the gods/divine boss of birth and marriage nomenclature with ease. The film is not merely a coming of age story about a small-town teenager; it is the story of a personality so strong and so unique that everyone who encounters Juno, from the school bully to the local store clerk to her cheerleader best friend, falls a little in love. Page's ability to carry this off and indeed, to make it look easy, marks her out as an actor we'll be watching a lot of in the future

She is perfectly matched by Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker, the quiet, calm but nearly as intelligent foil to Juno's reckless flamboyance. Bleeker's maroon and yellow running suit, skinny white legs and ponderous lexicon ("you are royally ticking me off") are sweet but never overdone, and Cera produces some truly touching moments, such as when he reveals to Juno that he's treasured her knickers since the night of the conception.

Alison Janney, however, is miscast as Juno's dog-loving stepmother, Brenda MacGuff. Perhaps it's the baggage of umpteen seasons as the powerful and successful CJ in West Wing, or perhaps it's just the fact that Janney exudes elite breeding and expensive schooling, but she is difficult to accept as a small town nail technician. The scene where she explodes in anger at a judgemental radiographer, who tells Juno that teen mums create a poisonous environment for their children, is fun to watch but doesn't ring true.

The soundtrack in this film is used brilliantly - erratic, unsubtle and overladen with emotion: perfectly reflecting the average teenager's relationship with the music they co-opt to load up with angst. The immaturity of Mark, the would-be adoptive dad of Juno's baby, is nicely conveyed through his too enthusiastic buy-in to a world of competitive compilation.

All in all, Jason Reitman has done justice to Diablo Cody's script, creating a really moving but unsentimental film grounded in the lives of a very flawed and very ordinary family. My one question is, who was responsible for the awful poster? It suggests American Pie, while the reality is closer to Little Miss Sunshine. Ignore the ad and the pro-lifers claiming it as their own and make sure you see this one.


Cast : Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner

Madelaine Healey

Site - http://www.junomovie.co.uk


Editors Recommendations

The Walking Dead: Finally, Somebody Bites Into a Charred Leg

Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead featured one of the most gruesome...

The Walking Dead: Finally, Somebody Bites Into a Charred Leg

Jason Momoa's 'Game Of Thrones' Audition Tape Goes Viral [Video]

At this point, almost everyone has wondered what it takes to get in to Emmy...

Jason Momoa's 'Game Of Thrones' Audition Tape Goes Viral [Video]

Fall Out Boy - Centuries Video

'Centuries' is the lead single from Fall Out Boy's upcoming, and as of yet untitled, sixth studio album. The single was...

Fall Out Boy - Centuries (Official Video) Video

George Lucas Rips Into Hollywood Studios, "They Didn't Know Anything"

George Lucas says he still believes studios are the biggest problem in the...

George Lucas Rips Into Hollywood Studios,

Gwen Stefani Drops New Track ‘Baby Don’t Lie’: Listen Here!

As much as we’ve been enjoying seeing Gwen Stefani as a judge on...

Gwen Stefani Drops New Track ‘Baby Don’t Lie’: Listen Here!

Brad Pitt: 'War is Hell'

With the recent news that 'Fury' has topped the box-office over the course of it's opening weekend, Brad Pitt - the film's star...

Brad Pitt: 'War is Hell'

Top Five - Trailer

Andre Allen has been voted the Funniest Man in America in his illustrious career as a stand-up comedian. But somehow...

Top Five Trailer

Royal Baby Due In April 2015! Palace Confirm Due Date For William and Kate’s Second Child

William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their...

Royal Baby Due In April 2015! Palace Confirm Due Date For William and Kate’s Second Child

By The Gun - Trailer

Nick Tortano has always felt under pressure to do well in his life, no matter what that takes. He's constantly been the...

By The Gun Trailer



Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All