Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought ... See full summary »
Raymond De Felitta
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
Emotional and Character Depth that Blows Away Your Typical Teen Comedy
Premise: Teenage girl gets pregnant and learns about life and relationships with her new "status." Significance: Anyone calling this a movie about teenage pregnancy has completely missed the point of the movie. The pregnancy is nothing more than a vehicle to provide an important contrast across several different relationships. Case in point: there is not one moment in the movie where Juno evaluates or considers her pregnancy. As such, those looking for a pro-life/pro-choice agenda in the movie will not find one -- because there isn't one.
Similarly, while the protagonist is clearly an intelligent, sharp-witted, and proactive, young female -- leaving some to believe this movie has a feminist agenda -- that is also not the case. This would not even be discussed if it were a male lead. Moreover, Juno by the end sees that she needs both her Dad and her best friend, Pauly. Most importantly, the career-driven adoptive mother's struggle is that despite her career success, her life is dominated by wanting to be a mom -- clearly not a feminist point.
Instead, the movie highlights that people and relationships are not always what they seem. Through the story, the heroine realizes that her best friend is someone she loves. She realizes that her quirky and off-beat Dad and step-mom, are actually "good" people. The adoptive parents have the biggest character change in the movie, with the soon-to-be Dad swinging from hip to shallow and selfish, while the soon-to-be-mom swings from cold to warm and loving.
Boiled down, this is a simple, feel-good, love story. The heroine realizes that her best friend, whom she has taken for granted, is someone she loves. Overlayed on this simple, heart-warming and timeless story (you realize you always had what you thought you were missing) is witty dialog and significant character development -- providing much more depth then the typical teen comedy -- like "Knocked-Up" or "Napoleon Dynamite". In fact, this is one of the best movies of the year and probably one of the best comedies to come in years.
With this movie, Jason Reitman has established himself as one of the great young directors in Hollywood. Diablo Cody has also seen meteoric rise in her stock, although it will be interesting to see how she follows up with such immediate initial success. Every life probably has one good movie in it. And Ms. Cody apparently borrowed heavily from her own life in creating Juno. As such, her next endeavor will be crucial for determining if she is a "one-hit" wonder or one of the next great screenwriters.
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