Juno delivers with talented actors, smart script

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Juno actors Ellen Page and Michael Cera

WAS THAT A KICK OR JUST INDIGESTION? Juno actors Ellen Page and Michael Cera bring Canadian talent to a stellar ensemble cast alongside Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Allison Janney.

Directed by: Jason Reitman
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner

4.5 stars

Jason Reitman’s second film, Juno, has been racking up both box office dollars and critical reviews, with three Golden Globe nominations and increasing calls for Oscar nods.

The film may be a semi-romantic comedy, but its originality is a breath of fresh air that will please audiences of both genders. Though the main character may be a pregnant teenager, this film is no ordinary chick flick.

The story revolves around two high school students, Juno MacGuff (Page) and Paulie Bleeker (Cera), whose first sexual encounter together results from boredom and takes place on a dusty old rundown La-Z-Boy.

After discovering she’s pregnant, the eccentric Juno makes her way to the local women’s clinic, where she attempts to “procure a hasty abortion.” While sitting in the waiting room Juno has an epiphany and decides to have the baby then give it up for adoption. After searching in the local Pennysaver for a couple looking to adopt, Juno’s quirky best friend, Leah (Olivia Thirlby), spots Mark and Vanessa Loring (Bateman and Garner), a picture-perfect couple desperate for a baby.

The strength of the film stems from the acting of Halifax native Page, who nails Juno’s understated and naïve personality. Page’s quick-witted humour comes across as sincere and unassuming instead of blunt and hostile, which helps make her character relatable.

Page seems eerily normal; the circumstances of her pregnancy (having unprotected sex with a track nerd) are more believable than typical movie teen pregnancies.

Juno rings true with the audience and touches on several themes that affect young people today including teenage pregnancy, abortion, divorce, self-confidence issues and relationship struggles.

Additionally, the film features an outstanding soundtrack with artists like Belle and Sebastian, Moldy Peaches, the Kinks, and Kimya Dawson.

This lighthearted comedy, with its impressive acting, refreshingly unique storyline, and great soundtrack, should not be missed.

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