JUNO

Jason Reitman’s film invites the audience to have one of two reactions in strict polar opposition to one another. Sure, you could resist its almost cloyingly independent/pseudo-edgy vibe from the first frame through the end credits, which ranges from a too-clever by half adolescent narration (by stripper turned screenwriter Diablo Cody), to the hand-drawn rhotoscoping title sequence, to the cutesy, catchy and childish songs of Kimya Dawson. You can steel yourself against the heart-warming story of an unplanned pregnancy and the softening of the sardonically witted 16 year old heroine (Ellen Page from “Hard Candy”) at the film’s center. You could even argue that the film is flatly directed, with no style or color to its mise-en-scene. But that would make you a cold and bitter person. Ultimately, mine is the latter reaction – one of complete and utter adoration. This is my favorite film of 2007 and everything I mentioned above, which should be an irritatingly self-conscious, collective shot in the foot, is in actuality a ginormous credit to why this film has been given so many kudos from so many critics and audiences. From first-time writer Cody’s brilliant screenplay, to the more than game cast: Page, former “Arrested Development” alums Michael Cera and Jason Bateman, “Alias”‘ Jennifer Garner, “The West Wing”‘s Allison Janney and “Spider-Man”‘s own J.K. Simmons, Reitman’s follow-up to his inspired anti-tobacco satire “Thank You For Smoking” (2005) is, in reality, a complete and utter gem.

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<br/>NOTE: Nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Picture and Actress, it (deservedly) won for Best Original Screenplay!

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