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Catching up on ... Juno [Oct. 7th, 2010|02:58 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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Juno: Don't bother looking for Signs or Significance!

'Well, you know, I just — I was thinkin' that I'd just nip it in the bud. Before it gets worse. 'Cause they were talkin' in health class about how pregnancy can lead to ... an infant.'

Catching up on ...

Ellen Page in 2007 (image: Wikipedia).

It's not giving much away to say that Juno MacGuff does not nip her pregnancy, "in the bud" or otherwise. Instead, after a brief flirtation with abortion, the 16 year-old opts to carry the foetus to term and give the baby up for adoption. Significantly, Juno is not punished for her transgression (except insofar as the pregnancy itself meet be considered a punishment) persons seeking in the entrails of Juno any overt anti-abortion, pro-choice, pro- or anti-sex or other coded messages are in for a serious disappointment.

The movie's eponymous title gives the game away.

Juno is a story about (nearly) a year in the life of a teenage girl named "Juno". It is not an issue movie, or a cautionary tale, or a call to arms. The fact that Juno is about a pregnant 16 year-old girl does not mean it is "about" teenage pregnancy.

At its heart and despite its subject-matter, Juno is a romantic comedy. Where we might once have had Katherine Hepburn as a wise-cracking career-woman in a man's world, we now have Ellen Page as a wise-cracking teenager, who is every bit as independent as Hepburn ever was, if in a very different world.

(Spoilers ahead at Edifice Rex Online , but not many; this is a movie whose surprises are worth keeping.)

(And coming soon, reviews of work by Margaret Atwood, Catherynne M. Valente and Talekyn.

This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/204168.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mijopo
2010-10-07 07:41 pm (UTC)
You do know this movie came out over three years ago, right?

Otherwise, good review, I liked this movie a lot, I've watched it twice, although it's not terribly deep and doesn't pretend to be. But you missed one noteworthy point, it has a great soundtrack.


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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-10-07 07:48 pm (UTC)

Ahem ...

You do know this movie came out over three years ago, right?

I do. Dare I suggest you pay attention to my subject-lines? :)

Anyway, you're quite right about the soudtrack; it fits perfectly.
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2010-10-07 08:53 pm (UTC)

Re: Ahem ...

Three years = catching up? I'd hate to see the state of your fridge when you get around to "catching up" on cleaning it.
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2010-10-07 08:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Ahem ...

But you know, I kid, right? Somewhere in my LJ I think you can find a review of "Bridge on the River Kwai".
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-10-08 01:31 am (UTC)

Re: Ahem ...

I do know you kid, no worries at all. And we still haven't gotten down to Citizen Kane yet, have we?
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2010-10-09 03:25 am (UTC)

Re: Ahem ...

you know, I actually did watch Citizen Kane as we'd discussed. I kept procrastinating in terms of writing a review and now I haven't much to say anymore. I did find it more impressive the second time around, I will say, but still, not even on my personal top 20.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-10-11 04:14 am (UTC)

Re: Ahem ...

I gave it a shot a couple of months ago, but Raven wasn't into and I never did get back to it.

It looked good, as you said, but there've been an awful lot of movies made since then. It's still on my to-watch list, but I'm prepared to find it mostly interesting from an historical point of view (also ready to be pleasantly surprised, but, well you know).
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[User Picture]From: pennyfeline
2010-10-08 02:01 pm (UTC)
That's two of us then, I have only seen Juno this year as well. ;) Loved the movie and I think your review described it very well!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-10-08 04:29 pm (UTC)

I fear we are legion!

Thank you. I not only want to see anything else that Page does in the future, but I want to seek out everything Diablo Cody has written, as well.
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[User Picture]From: bukabe16
2010-10-08 08:40 pm (UTC)
Ah, I loved Juno. What I found best about the movie is that its different. It has only very few typical stereotypes and film elements that you can usually find in popular movies, which I thought was very refreshing and interesting.

If there is a directly political or sociologically significant subtext to Juno, it is that individual choices matter and that it matters that individuals have choices. Juno's world is very much one in which a woman's control over herself is simply assumed. Juno consults her parents and Paulie about her choices and decisions but even at 16, no one really questions that they are her choices to make.

Yes.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-10-09 03:19 am (UTC)

Agreed

What I found best about the movie is that its different.

Agreed. The script kept surprising me, and almost always in a good way.
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[User Picture]From: jade_noir
2010-10-09 02:49 am (UTC)
I remember when Juno came out, I had been dressing and acting very similar to her prior to the movie and had the unfortunate experience of people around me telling me that I was dressing like her. I didn't like the idea of being called out for mimicry so I tried not to wear the hoodie every day...

Nevertheless, I loved this movie. I loved the humor, the soundtrack and the colors. It is not by any means realistic but it is witty and I am not in the mood for realistic dramas all the time. Which is the basis your review seems to be criticizing it on; the fact that there was some major under-acting and not-so-believable-transitions.

I think that I see this movie in a very different way than you do because of our personal backgrounds. I actually associated with the main character. The feelings that she was experiencing were very real to me and I feel that I can appreciate how difficult it was for her to face her parents and her school with her -condition-.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-10-09 03:18 am (UTC)

waitWaitWAIT!

I think you've quite seriously mis-read me this time. I liked the movie quite a lot and thought the unreality (except for the scene in the abortion clinic) was part of its charm, in the same way that the unrealistic dialogue in The Philadelphia Story or His Girl Friday were part of the charm of those movies. I like (good) romantic comedies!

And I related to Juno more than you might think. I might not be quite a 16 year-old girl, but I was once a pretty weird 16 year-old boy ...
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[User Picture]From: talekyn
2010-10-11 08:16 pm (UTC)
I used to get notifications, I think, when someone actually mentioned me / linked to me in their entries. Or at least, it feels like I did. But I didn't get one for this. I'm glad I haven't missed the posting of your thoughts on my book!
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