Somewhere between the sharp satire of Election
and the rich human comedy of You Can Count On Me
, a sardonic but ultimately compassionate story of a pregnant teenage girl who wants to give her baby up for adoption. Social misfit Juno (Ellen Page, Hard Candy
, X-Men: The Last Stand
) protects herself with a caustic wit, but when she gets pregnant by her friend Paulie (Michael Cera, Superbad
), Juno finds herself unwilling to terminate the pregnancy. When she chooses a couple who place a classified ad looking to adopt, Juno gets drawn further into their lives than she anticipated.
is much more than its plot; the stylised dialogue (by screenwriter Diablo Cody) seems forced at first, but soon creates a richly textured world, greatly aided by superb performances by Page, Cera, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as the prospective parents, and J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man
) and Allison Janney as Juno's father and stepmother. Director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking
) deftly keeps the movie from slipping into easy, shallow sarcasm or foundering in sentimentality. The result is smarter and funnier than you might expect from the subject matter, and warmer and more touching than you might expect from the cocky attitude. Page's performance is deceptively simple; she never asks the audience to love her, yet she effortlessly carries a movie in which she's in almost every scene. That's star power. -- Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com
Upbeat coming-of-age story about a smart teenage girl who has to face life full on when she falls pregnant. When Juno (Ellen Page), a teenager with all the answers, finds out she's pregnant to her classmate Bleeker (Michael Cera), she soon realises she has to ask for help from family and friends. Luckily, she enlists the help of her best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) in trying to find a couple to adopt her unborn child, while her understanding parents (J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney) provide the support she needs to help her through some tough times. When Leah finally uncovers a young, affluent couple, Mark and Vanessa (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), desperate to adopt, it seems the perfect solution, until Juno finds herself having to face some serious adult decisions while trying to figure out her place in the world.
The word 'quirky' has become the quick and easy way to describe films such as Little Miss Sunshine
and Lars and the Real Girl
that straddle the lines between indie and studio films and comedy and drama. While Juno
fits into that same category, this distinctive dramedy is in a class all its own. Ellen Page (Hard Candy
) stars as Juno, a witty teenage girl whose boredom doesn't lead her to the mall. Instead, she makes a one-time trip into the arms of her best friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera, Superbad
). When Juno discovers that she's pregnant, she's forced to grow up fast as she tries to find adoptive parents for her quickly growing child.Juno
might have a lot of strengths--Page's award-worthy performance, a pitch-perfect soundtrack, excellent direction from Jason Reitman--but it's the screenwriting debut of writer Cody Diablo that makes this such a winning film. Famous for her blog and her book Candy Girl - A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
, Diablo has a unique voice and an incredible ear for dialogue that led to her winning a Bafta and an Academy Award for Juno
's script. But even the nearly perfect script wouldn't sound so good if it weren't for the talents of these actors, particularly Page. She won rave reviews for her first major role in Hard Candy
, but this performance proves it wasn't a fluke. The rest of the cast, especially J.K. Simmons as Juno's dad, is just as worthy of attention. Juno
continues Cera's cinematic ascent after his success with the hit comedy Superbad
, and his Arrested Development
co-star Jason Bateman uses his dry delivery to great effect as a potential parent for Juno's baby.