Have your say at urbanmoms.ca! Have you seen Juno yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments section below & be sure to rate the number of stars you would give to Juno. Five Stars – Run, don’t walk, to the theatre. Four Stars – Worth seeing. Three Stars – Not bad. Two Stars – Marginal. One Star – Do not waste your time.
Thanks so much everyone for letting me sit on the "pity potty" in my last post. Everyone needs a little bit of that every once in a while.
So I went to the movie on Sunday, & actually had a bit of company in the form of a good friend of mine, who too needed some "me" time. I couldn’t say no to another mom in such desperate need!! So off we trotted to the movie at 11 am & proceeded to polish off a whole large tub of popcorn with no problem. Heaven, I say!!
In Theatres Now
More than likely you have heard at least some of the buzz about this movie. Official Selections at both the Toronto International & Telluride Film Festivals. Golden Globe noms for Best Picture (musical or comedy), Best Actress (Ellen Page), & Best Screenplay (Diablo Cody). Certainly talk of Oscar noms as well. Roger Ebert has called it "just about the best movie of the year." It has a 94% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So what did I think? Pretty much that all of the accolades in the world cannot do this movie an ounce of justice. It is bar none the best movie I have seen this year, probably the past several years. Every aspect of this movie is spot on, from the directing, to the acting, to the writing, & the music.
Juno is the story of a 16-year old who gets pregnant & how she & the people around her deal with her "predicament." Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page, a good Canadian girl) is smart, funny, strange, complex & quite possibly one of the most interesting characters brought to screen in recent memory. She doesn’t treat her unplanned pregnancy with the usual melodrama that is portrayed in too many a coming-of-age movies. She disguises most of her true feelings with sarcasm & humour, but you know her emotions lie just right below the surface. After an un-nerving trip to "Women Now" to, as she puts it, "procure a hasty abortion", she decides to continue with the pregnancy & give the baby up for adoption. She then has to tell her parents (played by JK Simmons & Allison Janney…& honestly total geniuses in their roles). The scene where she tells her parents is priceless. It is funny, but not at the expense of the true emotion of it all. I wish I could tell you some of the one-liners from this scene, but I don’t want to ruin it for all of you. Her parents are intelligent, kind, understanding, &, most amazing of all, the least judgemental parents you will see on the big screen. Funny thing is that they are probably the most real parents you will ever see on the big screen. They are not charicatures, they could be your good friends. In fact, I hope I could act in such a cool & calm manner if faced with a similar parenting dilemma.
Then we meet the adoptive parents, Vanessa & Mark Loring (Jennifer Garner & Jason Bateman), who seem to be the perfect parents for her baby. Well, let’s just say that not everything is as it seems (but not in a "Hand that Rocks the Cradle" kind of way). Jennifer Garner is wonderful & heart-breaking as a woman so desperate to become a mother & Jason Bateman is the cool guy, wannabe rock-star who "sold-out" (according to Juno anyway) & writes jingles for cereal commercials. She worries about the difference between custard & lemon meringue paint colours on the walls of the baby’s nursery while he hangs out in his "room" where the last vestiges of "rock-star Mark" reside.
The movie has you hooked & following along the ride such that you can’t see the twists and turns in the plot. Director Jason Reitman (son of Ivan Reitman) deserves a directing nod, in the very least for the way he uses the long fade to black at the end of important scenes. It allows you a few extra seconds to let the character’s reactions & true emotions set in. The casting is just perfect in every part. Juno’s best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) is hysterical in the way she pokes fun at Juno, but you always know she loves her & is there to support Juno in whatever she does. Michael Cera’s performance is so understated as Paulie Bleeker, the unfortunate baby-daddy who may feel more for Juno than he originally lets on.
And did I mention the music?!? It’s like the music tells you what is going on below the surface of all of the characters in Juno. I think I’m going to head straight out after the holiday & get the soundtrack, & frankly that is saying a lot since I can’t even remember the last cd I bought!
But now I’m just gushing!! I think that this was the perfect movie at the perfect time for me. I laughed so hard in parts & actually sobbed (that lovely, unattractive, uncontrollably-shaking sob) in other parts. It took me ’til the end of the credits to compose myself enough to leave the theatre. In the end I would say that if you can find some time in your post holiday travels to make it out to see this movie, you will not be disappointed. It is so very rarely that a movie like this gets made, & I figure the people responsible should be rewarded for it. Maybe Hollywood might make more like it. In the very least you will be thoroughly, & immensely entertained.