Recommended Viewing Situation:
Snuggled up in an armchair with the one you lost your virginity to.
Running Time: 96 minutes.
Format: 35mm film.
Director: Jason Reitman.
Writer: Diablo Cody.
Cinematographer: Eric Steelberg.
Awards: Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and more.
Juno (2007) is the story of Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page), a 16-year-old school girl who has an unplanned pregnancy and the following decisions she makes about her unborn child. The film is shot in 4 seasons, beginning in Autumn, Juno realises she is pregnant, tells the father Paulie Bleaker (Michael Cera), goes to the abortion clinic, looks for adoptive parents with best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) and tells her dad (J.K Simmons) and step mum (Alison Janey) what the hell is going on. She discovers the appropriate adoptive parental queues in mum wannabe, Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and rockstar wannabe, Mark Loring (Jason Bateman) a married couple looking to start their family. The film follows Juno’s pregnancy journey; how she deals with school, friends and her parents, and how she constantly has to deal with things way above her maturity level.
Juno is about all of the relationships we have in our lives: our close friends, our parents and their loved ones, strangers that become meaningful, the first love, siblings, children … it manages to grab several audiences with its incredible characters and the cast that is behind them. The true beauty of the film is that everyone is so believable; I have been to school with a smart, care free, cheeky Juno and a tall, shy Bleaker; I know people like Mark and Vanessa whose family portraits are the treasure of their hallway, and we have all experienced a Bren (Allison Janney) really giving an ultrasound technician some backchat. These are characters we have seen in real life and Juno is a wonderful insight into their ‘normal’ lives.
The soundtrack to this movie is gorgeous. Enchanting sounds from Kimya Dawson, The Moldy Peaches, Belle & Sebastian and Cat Power (to name just a few), do an incredible job of shaping this teenage world of love, confusion and all that being a teen is about. The scripting of this film is ingenious. This is by far one of the most ‘quotable’ films I have ever seen, with gems like ‘That ain’t no etch-a-sketch, this is one doodle that can’t be un-did, homeskilet’ in the opening 5 minutes of the movie, you know the rest of the dialogue is going to be golden. It isn’t just the quirky dialogue that has made me watch this film several times; the gold and burgundy kit of the school track team, the blue slushy, the hamburger phone and the cactuses that Juno receives every year from her mum on Valentine’s Day are all touches that make this film so iconic and memorable.
‘I just like being a piece of furniture in your weird life’ without a doubt my favourite line in this movie, I am bias…this is my favourite movie, but if you like backwards love stories, teenage pregnancy and films that you won’t stop quoting, then go and watch Juno now (how have you not already seen it?). Juno manages to be funny in a way that has the audience constantly smiling, has a narrative that is heart-wrenching in all the right places, makes you feel uncomfortable but in a way that confuses you because everything is going as planned, leaves you feeling silly and really wishing that there were red liquorice ropes that were that long, and is utterly poetic all in 96 minutes.