by Joanna Orland
Not named after a city in Alaska, or the Canadian music awards, Juno is about a teenaged girl (named Juno) who finds herself pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption.
Juno is THE big hype of 2008 so far, nominated for awards left right and centre. Ellen Page in the title role has been stealing the thunder of many young Hollywood starlets (eat your heart out Keira), and rightfully so. Page carries this film with the commanding screen presence of Meryl Streep, and for such a young actress there is nothing but Hollywood greatness awaiting.
While Page’s Juno is the hands-down star of this film, the supporting cast is stellar in the form of the funniest actor of the moment Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad), who can make you burst into hysterics just by blinking. There’s also Jason Bateman (Teen Wolf Too, Arrested Development), who I used to have a crush on until I saw him in this. We’ll say it’s because he’s very believable as his squeamishly ‘charming’ character. Then we’ve got Jennifer Garner who as the highest profile ‘Star’ in this film is very low key, yet appropriate as the hopeful legal-mom-to-be. Rounding out the cast is Allison Janney as the AWESOME stepmom and J.K. Simmons as the cool dad everyone wishes they had whilst growing up knocked up.
Directed by Jason son-of-Ivan Reitman and written by first time screenwriter Diablo Cody, you can see why the film is as charming as it is. The language of Juno is unique to mainstream cinema. Talk of food babies and Thundercat references seems like something that would be said between me and my high school friends – it feels real and uncontrived yet refreshing and funny-as-hell. Listening to Diablo and Jason banter at a press conference is like watching Juno live in the flesh. Diablo clearly wrote Juno as a straight up no-holds-barred character, putting every ounce of her abundant personality on paper for the world to see.
You can see how much fun they had making this film as they joke about how Michael Cera had suddenly become an unlikely heartthrob on the streets of his hometown of Toronto. I would’ve had actual audio clips to share from the press conference, but unfortunately some doofus didn’t turn his phone off like he was told and all you can hear is !@#$%^&*().
No matter what I say about this wonderful film Juno, no one can say it better than Juno herself. In UK cinemas from this week!!!
You can read more about my thoughts on Juno in our 2007 London Film Festival Coverage.