Juno (2007)

juno poster 2007 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Elliot Page, Jennifer Garner

Rainn Wilson cameo, wish Juno talked different than everyone in the movie instead of everyone talking like her

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Juno

Studio:  Searchlight Pictures/Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd

Genre(s):  Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 1, 2007 (Telluride Film Festival)/December 5, 2007 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

juno ultrasound allison janney elliot page olivia thirlby

Who’s ready for some teen pregnancy shenanigans?

Juno MacGuff (Elliot Page) isn’t like other girls.  When she learns she is pregnant by her friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), she debates what to do with her other friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) and decides to keep the baby by acting as a surrogate for Vanessa Loring (Jennifer Garner) and her husband Mark (Jason Bateman).  With the support of her father (J.K. Simmons) and step-mother (Allison Janney), Juno thinks she has everything under control, but life can come at you hard…and things you thought you knew even about yourself might surprise you.

Directed by Jason Reitman, Juno is a comedy drama.  The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and received positive reviews.  It won an Academy Award for Diablo Cody’s Best Original Screenplay with nominations for Best Actress (Elliot Page credited as Ellen Page), Best Picture, and Best Director.

Juno was a mini-lightning bolt.  The movie came out and surprised people.  Diablo Cody’s quirky script wasn’t what people expected in a story about teen childbirth.  Years after its release, Juno still has the quirk, but it feels a little less unique.

juno jason bateman jennifer garner

You have baby-blinders on if you think this marriage is working…

The script pops.  Juno, her family, and their friends talk in jokes and lingo that dive deep into both popular (and unpopular) culture.  This is both the strength and the weakness of Juno.  While it is smartly written, it feels like the character should be more of an independent spirit…but everyone down to the convenient store clerk played by Rainn Wilson talks like Juno.  They all use this language.  I always wished that Juno (and possibly her friends) just had this quirky dialogue to themselves that adults didn’t understand, or just Elliot’s character…it is the defining feature of the script and what makes the character unique.

Despite this criticism, Page and the cast really make it work.  Page nails the young woman who outwardly appears strong but is really an emotional wreck inside as they try to do the right thing.  Cera brings his awkwardness to the Bleaker character, and both Janney and Simmons are the parents you wish you had.  A special note goes out to both Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman who don’t quite fit in Juno’s world and do great “yuppie” characters.  Bateman does a good turn as a jerk and Garner comes off completely sympathetic and vulnerable.

juno ending michael cera elliot page

Remember that year I was pregnant…that was strange

The movie brings in the script with its quick and tight editing.  It mixes the popular script with popular (and equally quirky) music that feels like music that Juno would listen to.  The film is shot through different seasons to represent the trimesters which proved to be a challenge since the film was a quick thirty-day shoot.

Juno does have a bit of controversy surrounding it.  Since its release, it has been used as a sign of pro-life though author Diablo Cody has stated firmly that she is pro-choice.  She has indicated that she wished she could change some of the character’s motives for keeping the child as more of a personal choice than something that came from the abortion center.  It is a good film to revisit if you want to see how Cody’s script affected the films that came after it…for better or worse.

Related Links:

The 80th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response