International Writers Magazine: DVD Review
Directed by Jason Reitman, Starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera
I see them all running like that, with their things bouncing around
in their shorts, I always picture them naked, even if I dont
want to. All I see is pork swords. Oh, how the mind wanders
when youre a 16-year old.
is no normal 16-year old. After discovering she is pregnant, her life
is turned upside down. For the first time she is forced to deal with
an adult situation and to accept and deal with the consequence
of having sex with her oh-so-geeky but entirely loveable best friend,
Paulie. After she decides not to get the baby aborted (due to
her picketing friend and relentless waiting room finger clicking), Junos
only other option is to put it up for adoption which allows for the
introduction of a likeable but troubled couple of prospective parents,
Mark and Vanessa, whose personal problems act as a catalyst for Junos
progression from an immature teenager to a young woman.
Like most coming of age films, the journey of self-development is the
most important part of the plot. However, where Juno differs is in the
strength, vibrancy and likeability of all the characters in the story,
making the sub-plots much more important than usual. For example, when
Mark begins to doubt the strength of his relationship with Vanessa,
you feel such genuine warmth and heartfelt compassion for the characters
that for the time that theyre onscreen, the rest of the plot pales
into insignificance and you feel yourself urging them to have a happy
without a doubt, it is the performances by Ellen Page (Juno) and
Michael Cera (Paulie) that steal the show. Both performances seem
effortless, Juno and Paulie seem as though they are just extensions
of Page and Ceras own personalities. The chemistry between
them is wonderful, both incorporating the right amount of suspended
teenage angst and desire and the dialogue seems so natural to them
you almost dont believe it was scripted, although it is far
too dry and quick-witted for it to ever be real. The performances
by J.K Simmons as Junos loyal and supportive father, and Allison
Janney, as her stepmother, are also outstanding.
There is a memorable
line or phrase in almost every scene, and for that alone, the writer,
Diablo Cody, must be praised. But more than that, shes created
a world that every teenager who finds themselves in Junos position
would wish they were part of.
The soundtrack to the film fits perfectly, it is understated and cool,
mostly acoustic and in a flawless film, of course the most memorable
track is performed by the two stars.
Juno is a wonderfully constructed piece of cinema, when youre
not laughing youre crying or wishing you were one of her friends.
I would recommend it to absolutely anyone above the age of fifteen.
If you havent seen this already then you should!
berry November 2008
Sophie is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth
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