Juanita (2019) Poster

(2019)

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4/10
This should have been a mini-series.
mrshollywoodsy11 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was browsing through Netflix to find something new to watch, and Juanita's trailer sucked me right in. The trailer made this movie look so promising, but the movie fell short of what the trailer set me up for.

As the other reviewers have said, this movie had a great cast, great idea but horrible delivery and a rushed, choppy pace. Personally, I also didn't like the take on Juanita's imagination and her talking directly to the viewer. It felt really out of place for a movie I just wanted to unfold on its own. For me, it felt like an easy out on rushing into her trip by having her explain her reasonings directly to us instead of letting us see it unfold.

I kept losing interest throughout the film and came close to switching it off early, but I powered on to see how it would wrap up. It didn't. There are movies out there that leave you ambiguously at the end, and it's perfectly done (i.e. Cast Away). Sadly, Juanita's ending felt incredibly abrupt and unsatisfying. Did she go back to Jess and Paper Moon? Did she decide this trip was enough of a rediscovery to go back home? When it got to the end scene and I could tell by the music that the credits were about to play, I was like "wait what?" Unsatisfied, I officially felt like I wasted the hour and a half.

This movie had the potential to be such a feel good story about an older woman rediscovering herself, but it flopped. It left so many points unresolved, not just for her story but the other characters as well. Way too rushed and under delivered.
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5/10
It could have been magical....
pjsandiego10 March 2019
Juanita was such a missed opportunity. It has all the right elements: a great cast, an interesting plot and lots of possibilities for story direction. Instead, it is a rushed, chopped and hurried mess. Juanita should have been a mini-series. This story is about transformation- not just for Juanita; but for all the people she meets on her journey as well. How fun and emotionally satisfying it would have been to be able to spend a little more time with these characters and take the journey with them!
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10/10
Women's History Month Celebration Flick
hiphopphotos9 March 2019
Perfect film for Women's History Month. Just told my Mom and friends to watch. This movie brings to life our feeling or a thoughts to focus on Us. Us women would love to be at a place in our lives where we could just pick up and go! Just pick up and leave to focus on you. As women we are natural nurturers and we often forget about our own mental and physical health. This movie reminds to take time for self and be unapologetic about it.
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9/10
Great movie!
markhwebster-3248210 March 2019
There are a lot of bad reviews of this movie. I have no idea why because I loved it. I would normally not watch a movie like this, but there was a frankness in the faces in the preview that appealed to me. Juanita is an amazing actress. I thought everyone was well cast. There was an edginess to all the characters that added a lot of sparkle to the film.

It dealt with some very complex issues that need to be spoken about: Single mothers, why young men go to prison, PTSD, parenting, getting stuck in a dead end jobs, American Indians and their diminishing culture. I mean these are huge topics, and they were dealt with very compassionately. But it wasn't preachy. It is basically mid life crisis tied to a love story.

I teared up a couple of times, and it takes a darn good movie to make me do that. Don't miss this one.
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10/10
Awesome movie
rwatahira8 March 2019
If you've had kids and ur over 40 u will love this movie. Alfre is amazing and her character does what we all want to do- see what's beyond the life we r in. Brave, fearful, hopeful, loving, proud, human. Love love love Alfre.
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9/10
Unique in a simple way
kawegex8 March 2019
This movie is full of unique ideas, and it shows how one can transform to be better when they let go of old ways, conventional way of living. The story is interesting and funny
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8/10
Finally a movie for empty nester single moms!
clharmond9 March 2019
Loved the concept of an empty-nester single mom taking time out to explore the world. There are so few movies these days that seem to be the perfect fit for the 45-55 year old female demographic.
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5/10
How was the book?
vmbelford12 March 2019
Saw this on Netflix. It struck me as a terrific idea for a movie, which was turned into a disjointed mess, badly directed and edited! It makes me want to read the book, "Dancing On The Edge Of The Roof"!
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Bad Editing Will Kill a Story
proulxdf11 March 2019
I'm surprised more people haven't remarked on the extraordinarily bad editing and continuity in this film.

I liked the story and I really wanted to like the film as well. But the editing was really sloppy. At one point there is a static shot of Juanita outside the Paper Moon with her bags packed that's only shown for a second or two. I didn't know what to make of that, as it's completely out of context, until I started to realize that the rest of the film suffered from the same sort of ham-handed editing.
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5/10
Alfre Woodward almost saves this
Nikar410 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This began strong. Juanita is stuck in a rutt and feels somewhat lost and disconnected from her life. Like many women she seems to have been swept away by her responsibilities and lost who she is and what she wants along the way.

I loved that it wasn't a relationship breakdown that sent her on this adventure. Too many of these movies portray women as simply reacting to the males around them, rather than as being capable of forming our own thoughts without provocation.

I found how they portrayed her internal thoughts was really interesting and effective. It was a pleasure to watch right up to where the "romance" began. I wish they had spent time expanding on their bond growing. It seemed very much, they met, she gave him one home truth he'd likely heard 1000 times before and he fell in love, she.... I never quite figured out how she felt. She leaves, to return, not to return?

The romance and end just seemed so forced, so rushed.

Cast was great, acting was great, story started strong but ended on a whimper
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9/10
I liked it. You probably do have to be older to enjoy
rah-2979710 March 2019
But not necessarily black or a woman. The best part was just seeing two actors unexpectedly appear from the 90's show Northern Exposure. I just loved the Native American woman in that show.
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4/10
From interesting to confusion to painful
nadiaenis8 March 2019
Or to put it differently: nice story, horrible storytelling. Or: what the hell was the director thinking?

Had a lot of potential but it seems that there wasn't enough technical skill to get through with it. After half the movie you just lose completely the story arc and every emotional connection to the characters. And then it gets really, really painful to watch. Completely made up problems, new unnecessary introductions, horrible acting from some parts, it's a mess.
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8/10
Sweet but rushed
pioneer649 March 2019
This is a very sweet movie with beautiful humor. It's also great to see more Native American representation in film. I had to subtract two stars though because the film feels really rushed. A lot happens a little too quickly.
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5/10
Good idea but lacks oomph
dboakes8 March 2019
Loved the idea but just didn't work. Some of the supporting actors were just not up for the task. Needed better direction but I never found it boring!
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4/10
Okay - where's the rest of the movie?
juzmitch-502-39807922 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Seems to me they edited this with a machete. Some of the basic scenes that should have set up the relationships between main characters, development of the supporting characters, and exploring the main character of Juanita were clearly left on the editing room floor. And having Juanita breaking the 4th wall and addressing the audience being completely dropped less than halfway through the film is just plain lazy. Either keep this through the film or remove it completely. If it hadn't been for Woodard's performance this film would have only garnered a 1 or 2 star.
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6/10
Not sure about this one.
jennifertrathan13 March 2019
I liked the look of this so settled down to watch it but after it had ended I felt pretty conflicted about the parts I liked and what I didn't like about it. The next thing I did was look up the book that it was based on. It turns out there are 2 books telling Juanita's story, book one is Dancing On the Edge Of the Roof and book two is On The Right Side Of A Dream, both by Sheila Williams. This explains why Juanita's ending is not very satisfying, it turns out she has more adventures to be told and a return to Paper Moon. Perhaps there will be a second movie to finish the story.

Alfre Woodard is a wonderful actress and an extremely attractive older woman but after reading the notes on the book I realised she is way too old for the part. Juanita is 41 years old, Alfre is 66 years old (even though she does look a lot younger) and she is 20 years older than Adam Beach who plays Jess. I know this wouldn't bother a lot of people but it bothered me.

It made me laugh that she called her fantasy lover by his full name every time she imagined him and I am a big fan of movies that break the fourth wall. I love it when the characters tell us directly what they are feeling or thinking.

She seemed to spend no time at all in Paper Moon, that went over too quickly without being convincing about how she forges close relationships with the residents.

I'm off to see if I can find copies of the books and read more of Juanita's story. I think I will find them more fulfilling than the movie.
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7/10
a sweet film
ivko10 March 2019
This is a nice picture. Fundamentally it's about second chances and changing your life up. The title character leads a life, you could say, of quiet desperation. A string of not so great husbands, children who take her for granted, and a job that underappreciated her time and effort has left her desperate for a change. So, without a real plan, she gets on a bus and heads...somewhere.

Her accidental journey leads her to the Dakotas, where she finds a new job and a new romance. Still, leery of falling into her old routines with others, she keeps people at arms length. But gradually she finds her trust returning, and even her family life improving as her children learn to survive without her enabling their worst character traits.

This last point is a bit on the rosy side. I mean, in an ideal world leaving people to fend for themselves would end with them taking responsibility for their lives, but there are somewhat less ideal endings to that story. Even so though, I think the story is nice, and an important reminder that we aren't always as stuck in our life as we might sometimes think. Life is long (when it's not being short) and the world is big, and our lives can be what we decide to make of them.
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2/10
Painful
moladdy9 March 2019
This is a weird movie...and not in a good way. I normally love weird, artsy movies but this one is just all over the place and pretty tough to sit through. It's unfortunate because at first there were things about it I like and was interested in (the idea of an older woman picking up and leavin for a small, unknown town), but then it just went in weird, every-which-way directions that couldn't keep me engaged. And I couldn't tell if it was trying to be funny or serious or ironic....or what! Sorry, Alfre....I wish I liked it, but I honestly didn't.
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8/10
Warm funny and yet acknowledges the harsh realities of the world
naneen-110 March 2019
This was a surprise movie. One of those "looks interesting" choices on Netflix that you start and are ready to stop if it turns out to not be for you. But Alfre Woodard is amazing. You understand why she leaves her family of grown children who can't care for themselves and her job which doesn't have a future. Her imagination is amazing but her imaginary fantasy man Blair Underwood player by the sexy man himself is hysterically terrible as he keeps trying to borrow money while he is flirting with her. It's a road trip with a stop at a place and the people you meet are fantastic; the lesbian long haul trucker Peaches, Jess the Native American French cafe chef and owner and the other people who live in and around the town. I enjoyed how we got to meet everyone in their element and the scene at the Pow Wow was amazing. It's lovely to see a cast of people interacting in real ways without stereotypes and calling out the challenges in the world they and we live in. It's a light breezy film that understands the painful world we live in.
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7/10
Interesting
HippieMoon949 March 2019
It's an interesting movie to say the least. The characters are flawed yet relatable, and some of the subjects touched on are quite heavy. I like that the solutions are simple and not too far drawn out. I also like that it deals with the struggle of remembering to take care of yourself amidst the various struggles that life throws at you. I liked the concept of the movie, and the actors. I enjoyed some of the more heavy situations, as well as the quirky and carefree ones. However, at times the direction did feel a little "choppy" for lack of a better word. At times, it felt like there were relationships and topics that should have been more fleshed out to ease some of the transitions. By the end, I felt like what I just watched was good enough but there just wasn't enough of it to fulfill me completely.
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8/10
When people travel, everyone grows.
brianb080615 March 2019
Juanita left her family behind to go on an adventure. This forced them to experience a world without her and grow. Juanita stepped into a world unknown to her and was forced to grow. The people she met along the way got to see their own world through a fresh set of eyes and were forced to question things they had taken for granted, so they grew. I was a traveller once. I believe this movie might have convinced me that it's time to travel again. Never stop learning, never stop growing.
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5/10
Could have been great...
bmeada1315 March 2019
Like other reviewers said, the beginning of this was really good and I was into it but it quickly fell apart. It was almost rushed and just jumbled. And then the ending was just meh
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6/10
Loved the movie, hated the ending.
soraelizabeth9 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was amazing but sadly I cannot give it more than 6stars because of the ending.

I was super into the movie and it ended super abruptly never giving the viewer any answers for what happened both to the main characters but also the side storylines. Left the movie feeling disappointed.
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6/10
Touching, but lacks pace and drama
richard-fieldhouse10 March 2019
Juanita (Alfre Woodward) is stuck in a rut: her grown-up kids are serious wasters and her husband is long gone, leaving just her imagination and the elderly patients she nurses for company. When one patient dies, she takes the decision to change her life completely by buying a one way Greyhound ticket to nowhere - well nowhere she's ever actually heard of anyway. She finally lands in a hamlet called Paper Moon and is instantly pressed into service cooking for a Native American at his struggling and theoretically French restaurant.

This story perhaps works better as a novel. The pace is slow and the plot holds few surprises. As another reviewer says here, the movie lacks oomph. Everything is competent - nothing is special. At times it's quite funny and at times uplifting, but never exactly exciting. 6/10
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7/10
Good Movie but,
delayscott10 March 2019
Really good entertaining movie, but obviously not filmed anywhere near Montana. Trees, landscape and the faces/wardrobe of the Native Americans are nothing like Montana. If you set a film in Montana at least get it correct.Montana is mountains, Douglas fir, pine and aspen trees, cottonwoods in the lowlands. And they don't call it the Big Sky Country for no reason.
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