Film Reviews


Fox Searchligh Pictures

With the recent abundance of mainstream independent films I’m not surprised Juno has been so well received, considering the narratives are not especially new or dramatic they’re all sincerely invigorating and watchable.

Juno MacGuff, is a 16-year-old victim of apathy and boredom, about to venture into the world or sex for the first time. Obviously though life isn’t that simple and she is unlucky enough to gain more than she planned for. Nevertheless after a trip to the clinic with the plan of terminating the “sea monkey“, she gets pangs of doubt and instead decided to give the baby to childless couple, Mark and Vanessa.

In an apt manner, Juno’s parents are wonderfully relaxed about the whole situation, managing to take the news in their stride. They’re not so much angry or upset but use the brilliant parenting method of disappointment. Director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) plays on the ideology of “quirky” but allows them to unravel naturally and without much pretension.

Juno, like the Roman goddess, is a smart, quick-witted character who takes liberation in her observant scepticism and apathy. That said, she’s not beyond asking for help when life’s problems become a bigger weight than she’s used to carrying. But this allows her friends and family help share the load, especially her wonderfully sweet natured friend and “partner” in crime; Paulie Bleeker who is adorably funny and haplessly cool throughout. (Juno: “I think you are the coolest person I’ve ever met. And you don’t even have to try” / Paulie: “I try really hard, actually…”)

What makes Juno such an excellent film is the fact that at no point does the 16-year-old allow her horrible predicament become her downfall. She takes full responsibility and acts on a level, which many teenagers wouldn’t even consider. From the moment she makes a decision about the situation, she shows that she can takes matters into her own hands.

I found Juno to be a brilliant display of human emotion, character and a portrayal of the brighter side of the youth of today. Juno has and will get a lot of stick from people who don’t think that 16-year-olds can be that mature, smart and able to deal with such matters, and they’re generally pretty much right. However I felt Juno to be a lot closer to home than something like ‘Superbad‘ or ‘Mean Girls’. I also f**king love The Moldy Peaches, and to hear their sweet sweet sounds amongst the charming cynicism of youth was like some wonderful dream. I loved Juno and would advise anyone with (or without) 40 ounces of social skills to go and see it ASAP, fo shiz.

Emily Paget