Monday, January 28, 2008

Surprised by Juno -- a review of sorts

So Tony and I snuck off (I skipped a no credit class *gasp*) and saw Juno today after classes. I have to say, I was surprised. The trailers, the hype, the introductory credits even had me believing it was going to be "way too hip" for my taste. It just seemed a bit too too, a bit too nearly-indie for it's own good.

I'm glad to say I was (at least partially) wrong. If you only watch the first 10 minutes, the look of the movie, the sound track (bet's still out on the sound track as far as I'm concerned), and the inordinately witty dialog could leave you with this same opinion. But if you keep watching, the story gets more real, the characters get more real, and the movie really gets its act together. The script evades the minefield of cliches this story could have been ruined by quite deftly in my opinion, right to the end.

I imagine it's just about impossible to present a movie nowadays that portrays any redeeming qualities in youth, real emotions, without being trashed. It seems necessary, or it is perceived as necessary that films need to cut themselves down repeatedly with self-flaggellating irony or bitter cynicism to be watchable anymore. Folks, especially one and two generations back from me, are just so damn jaded it's hard to imagine how to deliver some simple redemptive human emotion in a movie without being shot down. This movie pulls that off.

It's not perfect, of course. The sound track and volume of said sound track were not my favorite, and the last 2 minutes were close to being too pie in the sky for me. But overall, the movie holds together and delivers some amazing writing and some amazing performances.

Ellen Page is scary good, and worth much of the ride in and of herself. Also, Jason Bateman grabs the screen lately with these weird little parts he's taking (in Smokin' Aces, for instance). He's solid in this movie -- as evidenced by his moment in the below trailer. He exhibits such a nuanced sense of comic and tragic timing that at times he really shines.

I give Juno an A-, very watchable.

Enjoy movies that can remind you of why your own life decisions were the right ones to make,



Tony said...

I thought the soundtrack was pretty kick ass. I mean come on there was at least 2 Belle and Sebastian songs!

So says the closet hip guy!

Bpaul said...

Effing hell, I'm just old.


Stu Farnham said...

Bah, kid and their emotions... pfui.

CtheG said...

this looks great. maybe we will see this one night when we are in portland?

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm "one or two generations back" and I don't feel all that jaded. ;-)

Bpaul said...

Is this a Z? LOL

Anonymous said...

No a Z would be the same generation, eh?

So you should be getting the calendar today! I think it turned out pretty good... but it was made on a Mac so it's to be expected.

Progenitor of the Z series

Bpaul said...

So it's a T, I see now.

Well, I was referring to kids younger than me when I made those statements, not one generation older.

I would place the majority of your older kids in the group I was referring to -- I probably stated it wrong LOL.

Good to see you sir.