Thursday 22 January 2009


I'll keep this brief. A wonderful script, perfect casting and a story that manages to be sweet without making you want to barf, Juno is that rare thing: a film which has something genuinely original about it. A tale of teenage pregnancy may not have you rushing to the video store (does anybody use those anymore?) but it isn't the details of the plot which make it a joy, rather it's the very real journey of the characters as they all learn to deal with the consequences of Juno's pregnancy. The timid, boyish father of the child, the cool as a cucumber best friend, the ever supportive father and the uptight couple who aim to adopt the baby, all have things to learn about being an adult.

Diablo Cody who wrote the script (and won an Academy Award for it) has some amazing ways of phrasing things but also some real empathy for her characters, especially the teenage girls Juno and Leah. Ellen Page as Juno is utterly engaging, seeming to inhabit the part rather than act it (something which is even more obvious when you watch the screen tests on the DVD). As I've said already the casting is peerless, not a single weak link, the actors clearly relishing the opportunity to get their teeth into some dialogue which contains character rather than plot development. It takes the first couple of scenes to tune your ear in, and it may be that many will find the film to be relentlessly quirky. Many elements of the film have a whiff of Wes Anderson, especially the intrusive soundtrack, but underneath it all is affection and heart and the kind of warmth that keeps your interest to the end. The ending manages to leave you feeling good without feeling patronised by a neat and tidy finish which shows that the film makers have the kind of maturity, the discovery of which, the film is all about.


Anonymous,  22 January 2009 at 10:40  

Hi William,
"Relentlessly quirky" and "whiff of Wes Anderson" aren't normally likely to make me hightail it to the DVD store, but i'll take your word for it ...

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