Sunday, February 03, 2008
Juno - review
Dir. Jason Reitman
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Teenage pregnancy is certainly no laughing matter but cool indie film Juno manages to deliver plenty of sharp comedy as well as a refreshing edginess in tackling a difficult subject head on. Jason ‘Thank You For Smoking’ Reitman directs this poignant and excellently written insight into world that is taboo to many and uncomfortable to most.
Juno MacGuff (the lovely and unbelievably talented Ellen ‘Hard Candy’ Page) is a cool sixteen year old who finds herself pregnant after an ill advised one off liaison with her friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael ‘Superbad’ Cera). Eschewing the option of having a termination, Juno decides to have the baby and to give him/her up for adoption to a successful childless couple. Wannabe parents Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) seem to have it all and Juno’s surrogate child looks set to complete their lives – but life itself has a funny way of throwing a curve ball into any situation and Juno turns out to be no fairytale.
Page has been Oscar nominated for her performance as Juno and it’s easy to see why. Juno is a girl who sparkles with a spiky clued up subversive attitude – a mature acceptance of how her life has fundamentally changed and the repercussions of her foolish actions. Juno’s parents (a brilliant combination of dad - Mac J.K. Simmons and step mum Bren - Allison Janney) are fantastic in their relationship with their daughter offering unstinting support and a tangible feeling of parental love.
Juno has so much going for it, a fantastic cast, a rich and kookily left field comic vein and even a cool soundtrack. Respect must be given to the filmmakers for not shirking the difficult issues faced by the characters and packs sufficient dramatic complications to make this absolutely compulsive watching. It is also possibly important to note that this is the film where a torch of being the new ‘hot upcoming actress’ is passed from Jennifer Garner to Ellen Page.
I freely confess that I wasn’t really ‘expecting’ a lot from Juno despite it being up for the Best Picture Oscar, just goes to show that sometimes it might be worth taking a risk on a young pregnant girl – because she might just blow your socks off, um, you hopefully know what I mean!? This is a comedy about growing up... and the bumps along the way, I’d say that it’s also potentially the best comedy of the year already. Treat yourself, go and check it!
DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):
Endorphin Stimulation: öööööööö (8)
- wild and wacky things to ponder here...
Tasty Action: öööööö (6)
- No gunfights or kung fu but emotional sparring aplenty
Gratuitous Babeness: öööööööö (8)
- Ellen Page is gorgeous in a cool 'off beat' way
Mind Blight / Boredom: öö (2)
- No dull moments
Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
- Quality and smart funny stuff
Arbitrary final rating: ööööööööö (9)
- A perfect storm of superb writing and great performances
Liable to make you:
"reconsider how smart teenagers can be"
DM Poster Quote:
“You'll fall for Juno... ”
"please note - it's not the shaking hands that gets you pregnant"
Read: Matt meets Ellen Page - (click here)
Darkmatters: H O M E