Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Mason Novick, Russell Smith, Joseph Drake (executive), Daniel Dubiecki (executive), Nathan Kahane (executive) for Mandate Pictures, Mr. Mudd/20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight)
directed by Jason Reitman
starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Allison Janney, J.K.Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Eileen Pedde, Rainn Wilson, Daniel Clark, Darla Vandenbossche, Aman Johal, Valerie Tian, Emily Perkins, Kaaren de Zilva, Steven Christopher Parker, Candice Accola, Sierra Pitkin, Lucas MacFadden, Eve Harlow, Kirsten Williamson, Emily Tennant, Ashley Whillans, Jeff Witzke, Colin McSween, Peggy Logan, Cameron Bright, Joy Galmut, Wendy Russell, Robyn Ross, Dallas Hanson, Bryson Russell, Derek Mann, Keith Frost, Grayson Grant, Robin Watts, Tyler Watts, Brandon Barton
written by Diablo Cody, music by Matt Messina, songs by Kimya Dawson
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16 year old Juno (Ellen Page) just had sex for the first time with her
best friend Bleeker (Michael Cera), and already she has to find out she is
pregnant. At first she decides to tell almost nobody about it and just get
an abortion ... but then she can't. So she goes through the adoption ads
to find the perfect couple to take care of her baby and then tells her dad
(J.K.Simmons) and stepmom (Allison Janney) - which actually goes better
Together with her dad, Juno visits the couple she has picked for her
kid, thirty-somethings Mark (Jason Bateman), and Vanessa (Jennifer Garner)
who can't conceive on their own for whatever reason. And while Vanessa
seems a bit unapproachable but totally in love with kids, Juno almost
immediately hits it off with Mark, a commercial composer she finds she has
much in common with - so much so that she frequently visits him when his
wife is not home, just to talk about rock music, gore films and the like
... not a good idea though, because the presence of the young girl makes
Mark reconnect with his inner child, and ultimately he decides to seperate
from Vanessa - also because he never really wanted a kid in the first
place but Vanessa had him on a leash. This totally breaks Juno's heart
because she wanted her kid to grow up in a healthy family, but it also
helps her to get her own life straightened out and make her realize she is
actually in love with Bleeker, the father of her child, who was always
more than a best friend - but it's only now that she can tell him that.
Plus, she figures Vanessa will still be the perfect mother for her little
tot, much better than herself anyways.
So in the end, Vanessa gets the child and Juno gets the boy.
Films about teen pregnancy normally tend to be clichéd,
cheesy, preachy, dead serious, and hard to bear for any
discriminating viewer. Juno is (almost) none of that, it puts an
ironic (and also more realistic) spin on its on-screen goings-on, focuses
more on its main character than the situation she's in, tells its story
without being judgemental in any way, and pleasently steers away from
overly dramatic situations. In this respect, script writer Diablo Cody has
done the almost impossible and made an entertaining teen pregnancy film,
but that Juno really works is aboce all (even above the script)
lead Ellen Page's achievement, who seems to understand her character's
inner emotions and is able to transmit them, who seems to be one with her
character's ironic, wisecracking attitude, and who really carries the film
even through a few rough spots - and let's face it, the script is at times
a bit uneven and could have done with some ironing out.
entertaining, to say the least.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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