If you haven’t already seen it, then fire up Fandango, find a theater that’s playing it near you, and go see Juno.
It’s that good.
The story is about Juno MacGuff, a “confidently frank teenage girl who calls the shots with a nonchalant cool and an effortless attitude as she journeys through an emotional nine-month adventure into adulthood”.
Ellen Page plays Juno, and lights up the screen with what I can easily imagine will be a multiple-award-winning performance, Her witty, fast paced dialogue creates a lovable character that you can’t help but root for, and she manages to both control her life with a tough exterior and search for meaning within a growing interior at the same time.
Michael Cera plays Bleeker (the father) and continues his recent climb up Hollywood’s star ladder. He isn’t in the film as much as I would have expected, but the scenes that he is in are filled with a great dialogue that lends itself well to the high-school theme. Both Juno and Bleeker are a mix of confidence and confusion, and their growing and changing relationship mirrors the growing and chancing that Juno’s body is going through.
Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner play the role of the adopting parents, and each deliver a stellar performance that adds another element to the film. Bateman struggles to figure out what type of person he wants to become as Garner struggles to become the person that she knows she wants to be, and neither over-sells their role.
Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons play the role of Juno’s parents, and are supportive in a way that is both enviable and believable.
For a movie that manages to make you feel good, it does deal with a rather heavy issue, and also runs through the full range of emotions. There are moments of pure comedy, moments of great emotion and connection, moments of truth and moments of powerful silence, and each pulls you in a different direction. However, the plot never takes you down an expected path, and in the end, you’ll want to cheer for a film that manages to define what a coming-of-age tale should be.
Theater Worthy: Definitely