Movie Review | Juno

Every year, there’s that one movie that is so low-key and independent from the glossy Hollywood spirit, that it sneaks on to everyone’s top 10 list. For 2007, and for me, Juno is that movie. It tells the story of a pregnant teenager who decides she wants to give her baby away to a picked out family, and traces her pregnancy from, uhem, conception, to birth. The plot is delicate, yet simple enough, though the film is brought to life by all the great elements you’d want in a movie: colorful characters, clever dialogue, brilliant directing, memorable scenes and of course, a great soundtrack.

In this case, the title character is played by Ellen Page, who does an absolutely brilliant job. The sharp-tongued yet intelligent character carries the seriousness of pregnancy with a light heart, that is at times emotionally teenage, but for the most part a display of wisdom that is far beyond her 16 years. Meanwhile, the potential parents-to-be, are played by Jennifer Garner, an uptight, suburban supermom, and Jason Bateman, a domesticated husband who is still rock star at heart. Michael Cera, who played Bateman’s son in the super-funny yet canceled show, Arrested Development, plays Juno’s track-running, nerdy, awkward, would-be boyfriend who impregnates her. With Superbad under his belt (or track shorts), this is Cera’s second talented performance of the year. The casting for all these parts is simply perfect.

Ellen Page carries a great deal of the movie, while Jason Reitman, who directed another brilliant film Thank You For Smoking, is behind the camera here. Together, along with a witty script, they create a movie that is reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s Rushmore; Page does a remarkable job with her character for a first time lead role in the same way Jason Swartzman did with the memorable Max Fischer. Rushmore set a new tone for a dark-comedy dealing with teenage issues in an adult manner, making them watchable and understandable only to mature audiences. But both films are different and unique unto themselves.

Juno also has a very Canadian-humor feel to it, and given that Page, Cera, Reitman and Bateman are all Canadians, that might have been inevitable. Juno will have you hooked on the storyline, and the characters will string you along for a great cinematic ride.

There should be a law against not loving a movie like this. While I haven’t watch every movie (yet), it currently ranks as my #1 pick of 2007.

Easily a 5/5


  • “There should be a law against not loving a movie like this” uh-huh!

    even though the plot isn’t the kind that actually interests me, your review alone makes it a must see movie!…i’ll add it to the list I’ve already started making and see it when i have sometime. hope it’s as good as you describe it 😀
    thanks for the review!

  • Qwaider, i’m pretty sure that when putting the movie in its context, it’s a good one indeed in terms of dealing with the aftermath of the mistake– that is teenage pregnancy.

    However Qwaider, I don’t agree that teenage pregnancy is right to start with, so why should it be the example set to Jordanians?? The whole social context is extremely different..
    Anyways, I believe that teenagers have this energy that should be directed to something positive in their lives, other than sex and pregnancy; issues that they’ll have to deal with for a large portion of their lives later on. Establishing the essential comes first, for example, getting an education, building-up a career, establishing their independence, and then the rest comes along…
    I’m not even attempting to propose a solution to child abandoning, honor killings and such, but i mean it all can one day be avoided by raising awareness in ways that fit our culture.

  • I agree with secratea … The parents’ reaction in this movie propelled me to ask my group of friends about their honest reaction if they (God forbid), in the future faced a similar situation with their daughter… I wont get into the detail of the answers here…but to sum it up, none would resort to murder:D

    Nas, hope you find the cheese to your macaroni … 😀

  • Iman: looool that is such a classic line now. they should print it on t-shirts. 😀

    Your group of friends obviously belong to a very different context than that of the middle east, specifically in Palestine and Jordan. Community, honor, pride, names, purity, perception. These are all important things. People cant just pack up and leave anymore.

    secratea: i have to agree with what you say except that what you pointed out, by way of social priorities, are a tad idealistic. in other words, you’re describing “what should be” (which is awesome), but the “what is” can often be ignored. in this case, sex is a very common “what is” factor, even in Jordan. there is just no ignoring it. honor crimes (some) as well as the latest flow of abandoned babies are a testament of the absolute and extreme negative outcome of that reality.

    I wouldn’t, however, go as far as qwaider suggested, and show it to jordanian audiences as some sort of learning tool. So I agree with you that the movie itself is about a more american reality, that’s quite different than ours. The same can be said about a wide variety of other films that are a reflection of american culture.

    This conversation may inspire an upcoming post on a similar yet different topic all together 😉

  • Your group of friends obviously belong to a very different context than that of the middle east, specifically in Palestine and Jordan. Community, honor, pride, names, purity, perception. These are all important things. People cant just pack up and leave anymore.


    One reaction: ” I hope I hope I hope I will never ever have to face such situation, but if God forbid I do, then his punk ass is marrying her today before tomorrow…and I don’t care if they end up in a divorce…”

    You can never ever know your reaction to a situation – no matter how prepared you think you are to handle it all – till you actually live it. Keeping in mind that we may still hold dearly some core values and traditions our families instilled in us, we still are a different generation than that of our parents…and our reaction to these certain things will be different.

  • Thanks for the review. I watched the movie a couple of days ago, and I loved it. The way the teenager handled the whole situation was amazing to me. She had all the reasons to bury her face in shame but she was strong and went through with it. It is also sad to see how people deal with these type of issues in the west compared to the way we deal with it in the east.

  • Secratea
    I’m actually in full agreement with what you said. Which is the next step. I don’t support teenage pregnancy, I’m just saying that it would be a good idea to resort to reason and mercy when dealing with such an issue. These issues are bound to happen.

    I did specify the audience, although I have to agree with you, it might not be suitable to every taste and people will probably be quick to dismiss it as “Americanized” and you know, we don’t want any of that. My suggestion was mainly targeted towards parents and the people involved. Obviously they would be at a point that is beyond feeling shy of the matter. Therefore they should all consider life as their top priority, honor, image and other social crap come next.

    Thanks for the review, I liked this move as well

  • Ellen Page is just brilliant, I really liked her in Hard Candy and I thought Juno was really entertaining. Funny how these two actors from “Superbad” are finding their way into movies that are taking a turn to focus on people who aren’t everyday heroes. The other guy (Jonah Hill) was in Rocket Science – really entertaining film.

  • I LOVED JUNO!! I loved the soundtrack…the jam session at the end with the infamous gold shorts cleaned with color safe bleach was sweet better than how it started with a chair.
    I bought thank you for smoking!!
    Jason Reitman is genius!

    “I am a sacred vessel; all you got in your stomach is taco bell.”


    Most definately must see 7/5 for me.! I even considered to name my future daughter if i have one…JUNO…no not the capital of alaska 😀

  • I will watch the movie as soon as possible, but i want to say one thing, Micheal Cera, although he still young, is a very good actor, i am sure he will have a prominent future..

  • Pharmer: yeah Thank You For Smoking is an excellent film. reminds me how the world works.

    thundercats are a goooo….is another classic line!

    Issa: cera is actually grew up in my “hometown”, Brampton, Ontario. he’ll do well with these kind of movies.

Your Two Piasters: