pregnancy tests, how did you produce that much pee?"
MacGuff (Page) has always been a free spirit, looking at life in her own
unique way but two months after she sleeps the schools best long distance
runner Paulie Bleeker (Cera) her life turns upside down. She is pregnant.
Knowing that at sixteen she wouldn't be able to give the child the life
she deserves, Juno and her best friend Leah (Thirlby) look for prospective
adoptive parents and formulate a plan before she tells her Dad (Simmons)
and stepmother (Janney) about her situation.
couple of years a small budget, character driven quirky comedy comes along
and becomes an instant cinematic gem, 'Juno' is one of those movies.
making a real splash with 'Thank You for Smoking' in 2005, Ivan Reitman's
son Jason continues to ride that wave with his second feature length movie,
'Juno'. The story of a sixteen year old girl who becomes pregnant might
not sound like the most original premise for a movie but Reitman and his
creative team's approach to character development and story make this one
of those rare low budget, character driven gems.
movie like this survives on its characters and 'Juno' creates one that you
instantly take to and care about. These are not your typical Hollywood version
of high school students, filled with beautiful people who look like they
are in their late twenties who don't really know about the real world or
real problems. Juno, Bleeker and Leah are your average, slightly quirky
sixteen year olds who see life as an adventure and come up with their own
unique methods of dealing with adult problems. Juno and Leah tackle the
problem head on, looking in the local paper for prospective adoptive parents
for her unborn child, while Bleeker just throws himself into his running,
distancing himself from the problem, even though everyone at school is talking
about it and Juno is getting bigger. This added realism, injected with some
truly quirky realisations and development that just endear you to the characters
even more. Add to this some equally quirky adult characters that have just
as many problems as the kids and you have a movie that you will connect
with more than anything Hollywood usually turns out.
the characters and the story drawing you in, it is the performances of the
cast that breathe life into the movie and the actors and actresses in 'Juno'
make the movie the gem that it is. Michael Cera is carving out a career
for himself as a fine comedic actor. Extremely naturalistic in his approach,
the actor builds on his experiences on TV show 'Arrested Development' and
his starring role in 2007 smash 'Superbad' to create an endearing and likeable
teenager that you can believe in. He reacts in the way that any sixteen
year old would who has little or no real life experience, deciding to concentrate
on running instead of his responsibilities. Olivia Thirlby makes a great
impact as Juno best friend Leah, the girl who asks the most unlikely questions
but gets the answers. J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney are perfectly cast
as Juno's father and stepmother, each reacting differently to Juno's revelation
but being supportive and understanding as their daughter goes through her
pregnancy. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner show again that they are fine
character actors, with Bateman's Mark still consumed by his own worries
about been a new father and Garner's Vanessa becoming the obsessed wannabe
mother who needs everything to be perfect.
the entire film is the performance of Ellen Page. After coming to the attention
of moviegoers and critics alike with her performance in 'Hard Candy' in
2005, Page has quickly become an actress to watch and as Juno she reinforces
this and how. As the driving force of the movie, acting as the lead character
and the narrator, Page is simply exceptional. She creates a peculiar and
odd character but one that you instantly adore for her approach to life
and her passion for everything she does. Even though she has to deal with
one of the most life changing moments of her very young life, it's her approach
to this that allows you to connect instantly with the character and make
you adore her even more.
'Juno' is a gem of a movie. Drawing you into story and the characters from
the first scene, this is a rare look at real teenage Americana, while still
been slightly quirky. With a stunning leading performance from a real superstar
in the making, Ellen Page and an ensemble that backs her to the hilt, this
low budget, character driven filmmaking at its very best and while it might
not appeal every age demographic because of its language and content, this
is a film that you should watch, enjoy and embrace.
in Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the
transfer is good.
by director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody
The first time writer and the son of Ivan Reitman talk passionately and
upbeat commentary track for 'Juno'. They cover all of the key scenes and
reveal how the film came together. They are two very intelligent and fun
filmmakers that provide and excellent commentary.
Scenes (20.24 mins)
Entitled 'Mrs Rancik', 'Juno Hitchhikes', 'Intro to the family', 'Carrying
chair to Bleeker's', 'Sat in the car drinking', 'Café Triste', 'Bleeker's
Bedroom with Juno', 'Lorings in Bathroom', Mark plays guitar', 'Juno plays
guitar', 'Montage' and 'Mark's loft', these deleted scenes are accompanied
by commentary director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody.
Reel (5.11 mins)
Watch the cast have fun on set, mess up their lines and say sorry a lot.
tests (22.34 mins)
Watch Ellen Page, Olivia Thirlby, Michael Cera and J.K. Simmons screen test
with each other before the movie started filming.
beyond 'our' maturity level: Juno-Leah-Bleeker (8.58 mins)
Director Jason Reitman, writer Diablo Cody and stars Ellen Page, Olivia
Thirlby and Michael Cera talk about the characters. Here we hear about the
maturity, the language of the characters and trying to create characters
that represent young people of the modern age.
Cody is totally Boss (8.36 mins)
Director Jason Reitman, producer Mason Novick, executive producer Daniel
Dubiecki and stars Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Michael Cera and Jennifer
Garner talk about Diablo Cody's first script, its character and her style
Reitman for Shizz (8.09 mins)
Producers Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith, executive producer Daniel Dubiecki
and Nathan Kahane, writer Diablo Cody and stars Ellen Page, Michael Cera,
Jason Bateman and Olivia Thirlby talk about working with director Jason
Reitman and what he brings to a film set.
to Blog!: Creating Juno (13.02 mins)
Director Jason Reitman, writer Diablo Cody and stars Ellen Page, Michael
Cera, Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons talk about how 'Juno' came about.
From Diablo Cody's original blog to how she started writing the novel, this
featurette reveal the creation process of the movie and what it means to
the actors and director.
Previews of 'Jumper', 'Be Kind Rewind' and '27 Dresses'
DVD treatment for 'Juno' is one that fans of this great film will really
enjoy. The commentary is very good and the featurettes cover most aspects
of the film's production, the characters and the tone of the film. This
is a very good, single DVD presentation.
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