If there was a movie that could represent the year 2007, it would be “Juno.” In the twelve months of this year, there hasn’t been one movie that has been as spectacularly extraordinary as Jason Reitman’s newest opus of quirk and celluloid genius. No other film has taken its viewers and wrapped them up in the kind of love like this unforgettable gem. There is no other film released in 2007 that is better than “Juno.”
The adorable and wonderfully talented Ellen Page plays the titular character, a girl who unfortunately finds herself with child and must face the challenges of teenage pregnancy. After telling the baby’s benefactor Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), she tells her father (J.K. Simmons) and her step-mother (Allison Janney) about her setback and while they are very concerned they give her their support. She decides to give the baby up for adoption to a pair of yuppies Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and Mark (Jason Bateman). After that the movie tells ordeal that is the pregnancy of Juno.
Juno is an offbeat teenage girl, someone who seems very confident about who she is as a person but is actually quite layered and weak as you watch her go through her unlucky misfortune. Ellen Page turns in this remarkable performance, one of the best this year. The character of Juno felt completely real because Page made her real. You don’t feel like you are watching Ellen Page playing the character Juno, you feel as though this is a real girl with real emotions just living the life she has always known. Ellen Page grabbed onto this juicy role and just let everything out.
Last year Ellen Page wowed critics and audiences with her chilling performance in the cautionary film “Hard Candy.” With her performance in Juno, she truly shows her range as an actress. In one particular scene, she scolds Bleeker about his lack of support during her knocked up months. Juno’s hormones are obviously in a complete imbalance and Page brings out strong, believable feelings. You can sense the true emotions that are occurring on the screen.
Luckily for Page, she also has a formidable supporting cast. Michael Cera has had a huge following since his hilarious job on the short-lived series “Arrested Development.” He is flourishing into a wonderful young actor and with his job in this film he will become huge. Janney and Simmons also turn in superb performances and steal every scene they’re in. Jason Bateman (who also starred on “Arrested Development”) is quite memorable, and shows that his comeback is still going on and that we’ve got a lot to see from him.
Jennifer Garner is an actress who has gotten a lot of flack for some bad choices in films (“Elektra”, “Catch and Release”). All of the bad criticism she received for those movies can be totally thrown away after her touching role in “Juno.” She was unquestionably one of the reasons this film was so lovable.
Besides Page and Garner, there is another star that makes this film as wondrous as it is: Diablo Cody. At one point in her life she was a stripper, and now she’s writing genius film. The witty dialogue, the inspired narration, and every little detail can all be attributed to her extraordinarily hilarious and touching screenplay. It’s easy to think that the hype towards her script was associated with her unorthodox background. The hype is there because the script is just terrific. This film is essentially her baby (no pun intended), and it must be amazingly refreshing to see it born into such beauty.
Jason Reitman will most certainly become the new go-to director. He is the son of comedy directing giant Ivan Reitman, and it’s obvious that the talent is genetic. He crafted a very great film using unbelievably talented actors, a wonderfully detailed production design, and a spectacular soundtrack featuring excellent artists such as The Kinks, Belle & Sebastian, and The Moldy Peaches (whose tune “Anyone Else But You” turns out to be the anthem of the entire film).
From beginning to end, “Juno” is a sparkling gem that delivers laughs, tears, and that warm feeling that very few films can bring. In a year full of films that disappointed a lot of people, it is very nice to say that “Juno” is completely satisfactory and affecting on many levels. Go see Juno.