Austin Film Festival Review: Juno


Director:Jason Reitman

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

Running Time:92.00


Juno McGuff is your average smart mouthed, witty teenage girl; however she is going through every teenage girl's worst nightmare "¦ unplanned pregnancy. Impregnated by her classmate Bleeker, Juno is stuck with only the Penny Nickle ads looking even somewhat comforting. After a long hard search Juno finally finds the perfect parents in Mark and Vanessa, who after years of trying have been unable to have a child of their own. With her friends and family by her side Juno is forced to make some mature decisions as she transforms from a smart-ass teen to a smart-ass adult, trying to discover where she belongs in the crowded place that we all call home.

In a world filled with 'attempted comedies' Juno is a mile ahead of them all as it thrives on the perfect blend of life, love, lesson and laughs and proves to be the 'Little Miss Sunshine' of 2007.

What ultimately makes the film work is its combination of script and actors. Ellen Page, most known for her role in Hard Candy, steals the show as a smart mouthed, rough edged pregnant teen. Her wit and delivery create Juno, bringing her to life and causing laughter and tears to escape at her discretion. Her performance is undeniably amazing, as her lines flow freely; you have to wonder how a talent this strong has been able to fly under the radar for so long.

Throw in an amazing supporting cast consisting of Superbad's Michael Cera, Alias' Jennifer Garner and Arrested Development's Jason Bateman and you have yourself an undeniable force that dares to be reckoned with. The chemistry that really surprised me was that of Page and Garner. Representing two completely different life styles the two more than pulled off the awkward encounters brilliantly, while still being able to bring a true and honest respect for one another within the film that really helps you to not only connect to their characters but their characters emotions as well.

Another high point of the film was the script/story. Written by novice screen-writer Diablo Cody, Juno effetely deals with the art of growing up and becoming a woman while stirring up laughs through hilarious situations and dialogue. Whether it be Juno's quick mouth, Bleeker's fascination with Tic-Tacks, or even Mark and Vanessa's willingness to 'praise' a sixteen year old; the whole film is just one laugh after the next, causing you to not only appreciate, but respect the mind that derived this ingenious story.

All together, Juno is by far one of the best films of the year. Mixing laughs with drama, Diablo Cody has proven herself as a screen-writer and created a new 'it' girl in Ellen Page. Do yourself a favor and see this film, you won't regret it.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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