Juno (2007) Jason Reitman.
Off to London's fashionable London with E&R to see new "indie smash" Juno at Curzon Shaftsbury avenue.
Putting aside the pale and interesting types in the bar with their hair and knowing clothes, who seem to come for the coffee rather than the celluloid (the Curzon does have a fair number of older culutre fans, the legion who keep the theatres full) and of course bitter misanthrops like me, I quite like the curzon. I've never known why the theatres are so far underground, but they show good films and that's the point really.
May contain spoilers: if you don't want to know anything about the film stop here.
So Juno, I was interested to see this because it's been raved about . I was wary at first because I'd read that the kids in film spoke in a procious way and they do but it's not annoying. I think we are all too obsessed with "realism" in film and a realist film about teen pregnancy would be a silent film punctuated by five minutes of shouting and a load of texts messages. So the lead character's (played really well by Ellen Page) easy and snappy eloquence is engaging and brings you into the film.
The films set in a small (northern)American over the period 9 months well (7ish) and seems to be based in retro nowish , the kids don't have mobiles, listen to cd's, they look stuff in free newspapers. The film (and this was one of my only quibbles) had a slightly overdone 70's air which it didn't need, it had a look of the kids of Degrassi St. Some of the sets seemed to have been croqueted (sic). It was similary in tone to Ghost world (2001 Terry Zwigoff) if not as bleak.
This aside the film is well paced, is funny (I laughed a number of times) and touching without being mawkish. Ellen Page is a compeling lead and plays the balance to between adult/child in most 16 year olds really well. Fortunately the High School scenes are more Gregory's girl than the usual teen film fare, do you think there will be another good British school film sometime soon?
So a really good film with excellent supporting acting by Allison Janney and JK Simmons as Juno's parent, Michael Cera as her boyfriend and even a painfully gaunt looking Jennifer Garner is good as a desperate adoptive mother.
My only other caveat would be that the indie rock sound track it a little heavy handed, sadly a lot of this music (much as I love it) is being spoilt by use in phone ads etc and I just thought the film didn't need to be so achingly cool, it has enough going for it already. But being gauchely over the top is a teenage phase so may be it's suitable after all, also it seems to be selling by the shed load, so what do I know!
In conclusion Juno a good, funny, touching film well acted and written, well worth your £10.
I wanted to post a tune to go with Juno, the soundtrack is full songs by and like Belle Sebastian so why not check out current faves Los Campesinos particularly "it started with a Mixx" which is apt for the film as there are scenes about making compilation cd's in Juno.
Oh and here's the Degrassi st theme.