Friday, February 15, 2008


My visiting Sis and I were going to go downtown and catch a play tonight, but the play didn't look like it would be that good, and it has turned cold and drizzly in the Valley of the Sun, so we took in a movie instead. Gail goes to lots of movies and had seen most of what was playing at my neighborhood multi-plex, and, fortunately for me, she had not yet seen Juno. It was a fortunate pick because I tend to get somewhat critical when I spend good money on a film that turns out to be mediocre or just plain bad.

Juno is a simple tale of a quirky sixteen-year-old girl who gets pregnant the first time that she has sex with her barely-out-of-adolescence boyfriend, an awkward youth who runs track, plays guitar, and sleeps in a car bed. The movie explores the realities of love, committment, and responsibility. It is moving and insightful without being smaltzy.

Everything about this film borders on being exceptional. The soundtrack is fun and helpful to the story. The photography offers fresh perspectives without taking away from the story or the lives of the characters. The script, by ex-stripper Diablo Cody, is highly original, taking a storyline that could easily have been a pedestrian slog and weaving it into something almost magical. The actors, particularly Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner as the complicated perspective adoptive parents, come across as being born to play those roles, and Ellen Page, the title character, needs to begin working on her Oscar acceptance speech. And then there's the director, Jason Reitman, who put it all together. Genius is as genius does. He probably needs to be writing a speech as well.

I'm glad that we opted for a film over live theatre tonight. Juno gave warmth to this dreary night.

No comments: