.:Movie Review: Juno

January 24, 2008 at 7:14 pm (movie review) (, )

“You should’ve gone to China, you know, ’cause I hear
they give away babies like free iPods. You know,
they pretty much just put them in those t-shirt guns
and shoot them out at sporting events. “

~Juno

Juno

I recently saw Juno with my wife last weekend. It seemed to be a good choice as people were lauding it as the next Little Miss Sunshine. The trailer looked quirky/witty, and there were plenty of fairly recognizable faces, even if I couldn’t put names to all of them.

Starting out, I began to wonder if Juno was Napoleon Dynamite‘s (the movie, not the character) cooler sister, as the opening sequence was animated in a style that evoked the indie-flavor of the latter film. But shortly thereafter, Juno delved deeper into a more mature set of themes and images (the first sequence including the sex scene that begins the story of her pregnancy).

For me, it almost seemed that the movie would hearken to other popular indie titles, but be different enough that it would be difficult to directly compare the film to its influences and neighbors.

Summary: Juno had very enjoyable parts, painfully awkward parts (not the funny sort, but the I’m-cringing-and-not-wanting-to-look-at-the-screen parts), and a few moments of sincere authenticity from some of the cast members (especially Jennifer Garner). I probably wouldn’t watch it again, but it usually takes extraordinary quality for me to watch a film multiple times.

Grade: B-

My wife is heading to NYC this weekend, so I’m hoping to catch Cloverfield (the movie, not the monster) by myself. If so, I’ll give a review on that.

For a further look into the aspects of Juno, click on the link:

Cinematography: Juno was shot well. Nothing ever seemed off about the lighting or the cinematography. There wasn’t anything to distract me from the story, which unfortunately is becoming more and more of a feat as I become more engrossed in the film industry. So, a solid effort here. Nothing groundbreaking, but I’ll take uninterrupted story over groundbreaking with issues anyday.

Music: The soundtrack gave the movie it’s feel. It colored the film with a low-key tone that life plodded along (also denoted by the handwritten changing of the season text to show the passing of time). Fairly catchy background music, but I doubt I’ll be buying any of the songs off of iTunes, even though the soundtrack is selling quite well over there.

Story: I’m happy that the story wasn’t focused on the abortion issue, and I’m glad that she made the choice to have the child and give it to adoption. Some elements were sweet, and some were incredibly creepy. Otherwise there wasn’t anything terribly remarkable. What pushed this movie onward was the clever dialogue.

Acting: Most of the actors did a very good job of portraying a believable role. Some of them had comedic chops, while a few others didn’t. I never felt like I should have been laughing continuously, even if the dialogue seemed crafted for that purpose. Ellen Page (the title character) did an exceptional job, and is up for an Academy Award this year. I doubt she’ll get it, but it’s an honor to be nominated. I really enjoyed Jennifer Garner’s role as the to-be adoptive mother. Her moments of joy at wanting to be a mother could melt your heart… then again, my wife kept saying ‘Awww’ at every moment, so I may be biased.

That’s about it. Enjoyable, not for children, and good for keeping up with pop-culture (non-viewers may wonder about cheeseburger phones in the near future).

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thursday said,

    I found Juno to be incredibly bittersweet — I enjoyed it far more than Napoleon Dynamite (I believe that I may be the only human who truly felt that movie was painful to watch). In Juno, the awkward moments played much better than Napoleon’s: I never felt like I couldn’t understand why a character did something.

    Admittedly, I’m a total sucker for any movie with Allison Janney. I think she’s an amazing actress.

  2. thewanderingfactotum said,

    Yes, Allison Janney was excellent in Juno. “Did you throw up in my urn?” I think the awkward parts for me mostly revolved around Jason Bateman.

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