Juno Review

Juno-Review(Sorry for the lack of a video version of this review, but I’m currently visiting in LA) 2007 has actually been a pretty good year for some solid cinema. Yes there have been some (ok a lot of) stinkers, but also some amazing films. And at the risk of blowing the suspense of the review, I think I may have just seen the best movie of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, Juno really is that damn good. A few of my friends caught screenings of it at the Toronto International Film Festival this year and just raved about it… I thought it looked boring. Yeah… they were right and I was WRONG.


From the sysopsis on IMDB: “Juno (Ellen Page) is a Mid-Western highschooler, who decides one day, out of boredom or curiosity, to have sex with her friend Bleeker (Michael Cera), a member of her school’s track team. She likes him well enough, but isn’t hung up on him. This one time encounter results in Juno’s pregnancy. She and her best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) decide to take control of the situation by browsing for prospective adoptive parents in the local Pennysaver, and Juno settles on seemingly perfect, affluent couple Mark and Vanessa (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner.)”


This movie lives, breaths and is completely carried by the single strongest performance by any actress this year. Ellen Page not only turns in the best performance by an actress this year… but quite possibly one of the best I’ve ever seen for an actress her age. No one ever wants to say something like that regarding a comedy… but the pure fact of the matter is she sells you on this character. She forces you to love her and LIKE her all at the same time. She infuses so much charm and agony and pain and confusion and hilarity at once that you can’t help but be completely drawn into her struggle as a 16 year old girl attempting to navigate a pregnancy all while trying to wrestle with choices “way beyond her maturity level”. This was an Oscar worthy performance by an actress who has just put Hollywood on notice. She was (and I hardly EVER use this word) PERFECTION. There… I said it. The performance give by Page was nothing short of pure, brilliant, amazing PERFECTION.

The dialog in the film is so witty and yet real at the same time. So much true emotion, so much awkwardness and yet so direct at the same time. This was truly a dialog and character driven movie. Most will reflect on the hilarity of the dialog (for good reason), but I was enthralled by the humanity of it. Such a rare and beautiful thing for a comedy of this nature, and pulled off with total perfection.

I’ve already mentioned that Ellen Page carries this film… but that’s not to take away from the job of her supporting cast. All of them… and damn I mean ALL of them were incredible. I’ve never seen Jason Bateman better. Jennifer Garner plays a completely different character than we’ve ever seen her in. Michael Cera was solid. JK Simmons is always great so nothing further need be said. Allison Janney steals almost every scene she’s in and Olivia Thirlby was a perfect “best friend” for Juno. It was an inspired performance by all involved.

Jason Reitman has quickly become my favorite new director. Proving that his triumph with “Thank You For Smoking” was no fluke, Reitman unfolds Juno like a master storyteller. The pacing in the film was perfect (there’s that word again), the structure was perfect, the character development was perfect. He put together such a gentle, touching and hilarious story that I feel like I’m in his debt.


I guess the only complaint I have about Juno is that the “quirky” music started to get on my nerves. The one song was cute… but it’s like people think it’s cool to have bad music in a movie…. but it’s not.

Ummmm… I feel like I should put more here…. uhh…. there could have been more giant robots. yeah… that’s it… there weren’t enough giant robots destroying cities.


So far… I think I have to say Juno is the best film of 2007. I may reflect on that a little bit more in the coming weeks… but my first impression is that this is the best film of the year. I’m floored by it… there just aren’t enough good things I can say about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. So screw it… for only the 4th time in my career I’m going to do it… I’m giving Juno a 10 out of 10. Go see it.

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35 thoughts on “Juno Review

  1. juno=waste of time…. i think i want to go to business or law school now so i don’t ever come into contact with someone of such low stature. er i mean golly gee that movie was so hip and related to me. i’m just like her in so many ways…. so cute and related to my era…. wow i mean wow… (sarcasm dually noted!) brandon i’m sure this commercial of a film was meant for people like me but they could have summed it up in 30 seconds. and saved everyone’s time. i feel bad for the projections that had to spew this trash out of them. “retrospect” please use another phrase because this film deserved no such word greater than 4 letters. good day and great review!

  2. any one whos seen this…
    so its valentines day on thurs and i need to pick a movie to go see, is Juno the kinda film you’d wna see with a girl youd been seeing for a couple of weeks? – im looking for something funny and charming without being too long or slow etc! Juno good for that? Or any other recommendations?

  3. ugh. this movie tried a little too hard to reflect wes anderson humor…and failed miserably. the “whitty” dialogue made me want to puke and the only good part was michael cera.

  4. i just saw it a few days ago and…wow! i absolutely love every bit of it! it was so real and believable. i agree that page portrayed the awkwardly sarcastic teen perfectly! as a teenager myself i could see parts of her in me. while watching the film, i wanted to stand up and say “yes, thats exactly how a teen would interpret that situation!” great story, great cast, great acting, amazing movie!

  5. I really want to see this one. Unfortunately, this is one of those films that will never come to the theaters near me. However, I will most definitely check it out when I can get a chance to.

  6. One of the main musicians whom has her music featured multiple times in the film goes by the name Kimya Dawson. She is really popular among the underground “folk punk” type genre. I’ve been a fan for a while now. She actually has a cameo in the film as well.

  7. Hey John.

    Thanks for the review. I was on the fence on this one due to some of the mixed reviews but now I’m sold.

    Also, do you think you’ll be doing a review of No Country For Old Men? I went into that film completely unaware of what I was about to see and I ended up loving it. I’m curious what you think.

  8. nbakid2000: The soundtrack consists mostly of “twee” indie pop songs by the likes of Belle & Sebastian (if you’ve seen High Fidelity, B&S are the band that Dick is playing on the stereo before Jack Black’s character storms in and puts on louder music). You can look the tracklist up on amazon.
    If I remember correctly, Juno listens to 70’s punk rock like Patti Smith and Iggy & the Stooges.

  9. Dang, this movie just became number on my ‘must see’ list. I even think I might like the music in it. The songs in the trailer were pretty ok I thought (I think I heard some Hoosiers in there).

  10. John, you forgot “The Descent” … You also gave it a 10 last year, right?

    As for Juno, I can say I couldn’t care less about it before reading your review John. Now it’s a Must See!

  11. I’m also curious about the other 3 10/10 reviews. maybe you could make a post about all 4 10/10 movies sometime? I can always use ideas when I go to the video store.

  12. I saw this movie a couple of weeks ago at a screening and fell in love with it. I hope to have to time to make another trip to the theater because I would like to give my $$ to this film. It’s wonderful film and has a lot of heart.
    I do have to strongly disagree about the “bad” music comment. The music wasn’t bad at all. It’s okay if you don’t like it, but it wasn’t bad.
    I do have agree with Deborah about how the soundtrack didn’t really fit Juno herself. I think they could have mixed it up a little bit with music she talks about in the film.

  13. I saw this at TIFF and loved it, but I honestly thought John would hate it and describe it as “Gilmore Girls: The Movie” or something…
    Glad to hear I was wrong! Yaay.
    And I totally agree about the music. Not that I necessarily think it was “bad music”, but it really didn’t complement the movie in my opinion. Especially since Juno’s favourite band is the Stooges. I felt like Juno herself would have hated the soundtrack.

  14. I saw this film at the Arclight on sunday and I agree with everything john said. This is an amazing film, I loved how the film started and i loved how it ended. The dialogue in the film is completely boss, its witty, sharp, and quick. Definitely catch the film if you get a chance.

    On a side note, john was right about the arclight as well. Great theatre to watch a movie in.

  15. I saw a screening of this movie a month or so back. I liked it so much I went to 3 more screenings. People, it REALLY IS THAT GOOD of a movie. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should.

  16. I always forget to mention this here but I really, really recommend Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. It’s one of the best pictures of the year for me so far.

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