Tuesday, March 04, 2008



Year: 2007
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

I'll be honest and admit that when I first heard of Juno I wasn't interested at all. To me, it kind of looked like another Knocked Up rip off where the main character gets pregnant accidentally. It was only after I saw so many great reviews this film has received that it hit me and made me want to see it. Juno was released in December of 2007 and it has been a box office success. For a film that's budget was about $8 million, Juno grossed an estimated $175 million worldwide. A big victory for a low budget film like this. So after all the great things I have heard about it, I thought I owe it to myself to give this film a chance. Now, I see I made a wise decision because Juno is a heart warming film that works on so many levels.

Plot Outline:
Juno MacGruff (Ellen Page), who after taking three home pregnancy tests, finds out that she is pregnant with her longtime boyfriend and shy school runner Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Because Juno is not ready for motherhood, she decides to have the baby and make plan for the unborn child's adoption. She soon finds the perfect parents for her baby in the Pennysaver, a kind, wealthy yuppie-like couple named Mark (Jason Bateman) & Vanessa Loring (Jennifer Garner).

Given that Diablo Cody won an Academy Award for Best Writing, Its no surprise that the story is great. I thought the plot was very interesting and really sucks you into this world of Juno that you want to keep close attention to. At first, I was alittle skeptical about the concept of the movie, but now I see that it works best for this movie. I was foolish to think Juno was a Knocked Up rip off when their are alot of things that are different between the two movies. Juno's story also has many characters that are just lovable and really great to watch. I wasn't too impressed with the dialogue simply because their are alot of one liners that the cast say. The movie also has ways of being funny because the dialogue is just full of jokes and corky-ness. I very much enjoyed the story of Juno and thought it was easily one of the best films of 2007. I was so surprised to see an independent low budget film like this sell really well at the box office, but I guess anything could happen no matter what the budget is.

Ellen Page plays as Juno MacGuff and she gives an outstanding performance. I'm so surprised she didn't win Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her role in Juno. She really brings something to the table and is a joy to watch on screen. This is easily her best performance she has given so far. Michael Cera plays as Paulie Bleeker and hes pretty great in his role. Although his character reminds me of Evan from Superbad which Cera also played as, he still gives a better performance then I was expecting. We also have Jennifer Garner playing as Vanessa Loring and shes pretty good in her role. Jason Bateman plays as Mark Loring, the husband of Garner's character. Hes pretty good in his role, I mean its not ground breaking, but it still works. J.K. Simmons plays as Mac MacGuff and its so nice to see him in another role instead of another Spider-Man film.

The visual look of Juno is not something that's going to strike you with amazement. Since the story centers around pregnancy and Juno, their are no CGI effects at all. With that said, the movie does feature some bold colors that isn't really eye popping, but is nice to look at. Detail was also pretty good in some of the characters faces, but its also pretty soft. So it works out in someways. The movie has a blue overcast setting most of the time with everything looking kind of pale. I wouldn't rank Juno up their with the best visual looks, but its certainly not at the bottom.

The soundtrack in Juno is great. Matt Messina put together some great music that strangely goes well with the movies story. While it is a shame that I didn't detect a score for this film, it simply doesn't matter much. As long as the movie has music that goes with the movie and is really enjoyable to listen to, then I'm fine with it not having its own score. Juno has many music that mostly consists of punk or pop genres and for some reason they fit the mood of this film. While their are some bass being used in the soundtrack, its hardly enough to warrant new speakers to listen to. Dialogue is present alot during the movie so its important for voices to be clear and they are. Voices are crisp and clear with the cast sounding great.

Juno is a wonderful film to watch and enjoy. The story is really interesting and engaging. I found it to be heart warming. The cast is great with Ellen Page giving a remarkable performance that is probably her best performance so far. The visual look of the film isn't something that's going to give you a run for your money, but it works. The music is great with the soundtrack really giving this film so legs even if its lacking a score. I personally think Juno should have won more awards simply because this is a great film all around and deserves some recognition. I easily recommend this film to anyone that is looking for a fun movie to watch that your going to end up loving. Juno is hands down one of the best films to come out in 2007.

Grade: A-

1 comment:

italicsblogs said...

Juno is without a speck of doubt the biggest movie of the year. The performances, theme, style and music - all are standouts. Take a bow!