Films: Juno

Juno

Juno

USA, 2007, 92 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Black Comedy, Comedy, Coming of Age, Drama, Family Issues, Romantic Comedy, Social Issues, Teen Flick, Womens Issues
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman
Producer: Joseph Drake, Daniel Dubiecki, Russell Smith, John Malkovich
Editor: Dana E. Glauberman
Screenwriter: Diablo Cody
Cinematographer: Eric Steelberg
Principal Cast: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner

Crackling with whip-smart dialogue (and intensely clever monologue, for that matter), Jason Reitman's follow-up to Thank You for Smoking finds 16 year-old Juno pregnant by her clueless best friend, high-school track star Paulie. Opting, after a discouraging visit to a bleak family planning clinic, to take the pregnancy to term and give her baby up for adoption, she begins to acquaint herself with the chosen couple - only to watch her well-meant plans go sharply awry.

That the dilemma of a teenager who finds herself with child after her very first sexual encounter hardly seems comic gold just goes to show the aplomb with which Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody and the cast have mined it. Among the latter are J. K. Simmons and Allison Janney as Juno's put-upon but supportive blue-collar parents and Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as the childless yuppies with whom she intends to place the baby. Mark and Vanessa Loring seem perfect at first: attractive, well-off and eager to have a family. But the more she gets to know them, the more it becomes uncomfortably clear that the father-to-be - a 40-something composer for the ad industry whose dreams of rock stardom still haunt him - is taking a not-altogether benign interest in the teenager. Juno herself is played to perfection by the young but already ripe talent that is Ellen Page (who can be seen in another festival feature this year, The Tracey Fragments).

Notwithstanding the wit that has already garnered its sassy, snappy script kudos, Juno is genuinely moving as a commentary on what it means and what it takes to grow up - at any age.

Sponsored by Starz

Followed by Dessert Reception in the Ellie lobby
Presented by Starz and Lionsgate.

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