Media Maven: “Juno”

Media Maven: “Juno”

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JUNO
Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby

 

Juno has been generating a lot of Oscar buzz, and deservedly so. It is the story of an unconventional sixteen year old, Juno, who becomes pregnant after having sex only one time. After visiting an abortion clinic, she decides to have the baby but give it up for adoption.

Now that you know the story, here’s what else this film has to offer.
Ellen Page, who plays Juno, is a joy to watch as she navigates through her pregnancy under a complicated set of circumstances.

Our hearts go out to all of the characters that are connected to the spirited girl. Allison Janney plays Bren, her calm, level headed stepmother. Juno’s father is played by J.K. Simmons as an all-around good guy who loves his daughter deeply and let’s her know his love is unconditional. Olivia Thirlby, Juno’s BFF, captures the total package of being a friend and still supporting Juno through this huge life-changing experience. James Cera (Bleaker, as the sperm provider) nimbly walks through the first half of this film more as a secondary character. At its conclusion he manages to solidify his presence as more than a donor; he is a committed friend to Juno.

Jennifer Garner, who plays Vanessa, the socially sophisticated upper-class woman yearning to be a mother. Garner gives a refined, subdued performance as an uptight, controlling yupster. Yet as the story reveals itself, we see Garner’s character drop her guard and express a poignancy that is at once beautiful and vulnerable. Jason Bateman, as Mark, Garner’s other half, gives a laid back performance that suggests he is simply acquiescing to his wife’s dream and making only a half-hearted commitment to the new life growing within Juno.

It is a quirky story of one teenage girl’s admirable, benevolent decision to deliver a baby to term. The accompanying soundtrack is just as quirky and delightful.

Bottom Line: What makes this film Oscar worthy is the script. Jason Rietman keeps the film from being too sentimental with snappy dialog and the right elements of reality and innocence. Just by word of mouth this film will find itself at the Oscars.

You don’t have to take my word for it. See for yourself. (Just don’t forget you heard it from me.)

Rating: Four Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.