After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
A tale told over four seasons, starting in autumn when Juno, a 16-year-old high-school junior in Minnesota, discovers she's pregnant after one event in a chair with her best friend, Bleeker. In the waiting room of an abortion clinic, the quirky and whip-sharp Juno decides to give birth and to place the child with an adoptive couple. She finds one in the PennySaver personals, contacts them, tells her dad and step-mother, and carries on with school. The chosen parents, upscale yuppies (one of whom is cool and laid back, the other meticulous and uptight), meet Juno, sign papers, and the year unfolds. Will Juno's plan work, can she improvise, and what about Bleeker? Written by
When searching for potential parents for her baby, Juno says she's looking for someone cool "like a graphic designer." In real life, both star Ellen Page's father and Diablo Cody's ex-husband are graphic designers. See more »
When Bleeker is talking to Juno in the hallway at school while
holding a box of donut holes, the box changes positions in his hands every time the angle changes. In his DVD commentary, director Jason Reitman explains that this was an intentional cheat (one that irked his script supervisor!) to keep the donut holes visible through the box in both camera angles. See more »
The thing that separates "Juno" from so many other films about teen
pregnancy is that, in this case, the 16-year-old who finds herself in
that predicament refuses to become a victim of her circumstances. From
the moment she confirms the unwelcome news, Juno studies her options -
abortion, raising the child as a single teen parent, adoption - then
takes matters into her own hands. Like the Roman goddess who is her
namesake, Juno is a bright, often sharp-tongued individual who prides
herself on her observant cynicism and her way with a sarcastic quip.
However, she's not above appealing to the adults in her life when the
problems of the world get to be too much for her (though, in some
cases, the grownups are coping with more serious issues than she is).
Yet, Juno makes certain that it is she and she alone who will have the
final say when it comes to determining the course of her own future and
that of her child.
"Juno" is that rare low-budget, independent feature that finds
unexpected success in the mainstream by striking a chord of recognition
in audiences across the demographic spectrum. First-time screenwriter
Diablo Cody hits pay dirt with a clear-eyed, largely unsentimental
script that is not afraid to go off in unexpected and interesting
directions and that avoids patronizing its Middle American characters.
Juno's father and stepmother manage to take the news in stride, while
the yuppie couple Juno alights on to be the child's adoptive parents
are given a depth and complexity far beyond what a lesser writer might
have afforded them. Director Jason Reitman keeps the quirkiness to a
minimum and allows the scenes to play out in a naturalistic, unhurried
way. Confident in the strength and appeal of his material, he lets the
gentle human comedy speak for itself.
In a star-making turn, young Ellen Page takes a daring approach to her
character, often bringing Juno right to the brink of un-likability,
then pulling back at just the crucial moment, making us see how utterly
likable she truly is. As the child's father, Michael Cera is virtually
the same lovably passive nerd we found so endearing in "Superbad,"
while J.K. Simmons and especially Allison Janney give rich shadings to
Juno's supportive parents. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner also make
their mark as the couple who post their picture in the "baby wanted"
section of the local throwaway.
"Juno" faces the downside of any independent film that unexpectedly
finds itself ripped from the confines of the art houses and suddenly
duking it out at the multiplexes with all those high-budget,
high-octane, testosterone-laden blockbusters - namely the risk of
over-inflated expectations. Thus, my advice is to look beyond all the
hype and box office records and simply let "Juno" sneak up on and take
a hold of you in its own quiet, inimitable fashion. I think it works
best that way.
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