Film reviews

Juno, Dir. Jason Reitman, Cert; 12A (Opens 3rd February 2008)

So here I am, sat in a preview screening of one of the most talked about films for sometime, well ok since Christmas. However what was so special about this film was that it was from writer Diablo Cody's first screen play and having been released in the US earlier last year, had garnered much acclaim and made it over $52 million dollars in its first month. So with it now awaiting release over here in the UK, will it cut the mustard on this side of the pond? And will UK audience's find the storyline relevant, or even funny?

To describe this film as a teen flick might be a little misleading, normally this would suggest a storyline that is filled with copious amounts of sex, underage drinking and the occasional fruit pie! But then again cinema has moved on since the making of Porkies, American Pie and the like (alright sometimes), no this certainly isn't irrelevant like that, consider American Beauty and you will be halfway there. Its nuances are subtle, but always there. It's storyline far greater than it at first appears.

The central character is Juno McDuff (Ellen Page), a teenage girl wishing to experience as much of life as she can, whilst trying to escape the drudgery she has been given. Acting in this movie is supreme, 20 year old Page who plays the sixteen year old gothesque Juno is marvelous, her irreverence at life and the card she has been dealt is portrayed with a fluid ability. Her friend and father of her unborn child, Cera, possesses a geekish anti-cool that fits well the situation. Cast members here also include Allison Janney who plays Juno's step-mom (perhaps better known for her portrayal as CJ in TV's West Wing) is paired with husband and Juno's father Mac (played by J.K. Simmons, otherwise known as the newspaper editor 'Jameson' in the Spiderman trilogy). The interaction between the generations are served up well and the disapproving looks Juno receives from her peer group are only to be expected. Set with a super-cool soundtrack, this movie is wonderfully easy going and although the audience sits through 9 months of agonising twists and turns, it manages to remain engaging whilst the music never gets in the way of the dialogue.

I have read reports and comments from other's who might suggest that this film is less than the hit it obviously is, and now having seen it myself find this somewhat bemusing. I found the feature very well made, scripted and with an all round appeal that might see this film attract an audience from teens, through 30 something's and beyond. Yes its storyline is one that should be seen as fitting a younger audience, but the humour and soundtrack brings its call to a far greater following. I loved this film, but the question remains who exactly is Juno; well apparently in greek mythology she was the sister and wife of Jupiter - I think we'll leave it there. 9/10

Nick James

Odeon Online


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