.

Juno

Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Olivia Thirlby, Jason Bateman

Directed by Jason Reitman
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
December 13, 2007

There's a special kick that comes in finding a new star. So step up, Ellen Page, and take your bows. You won't find a sass queen around who can touch Page as Juno MacGuff, a pregnant sixteen-year-old with a smart mouth that won't quit. Page (Hard Candy) has the rare knack of being brutal and funny simultaneously. Her flow of quips and put-downs comes courtesy of debuting screenwriter Diablo Cody, another find. I'd also include director Jason Reitman, son of Ivan, in the newbie box, for making such a cleanly executed, pungently comic job of it, but he's an old hand, having directed Thank You for Smoking last year.

Here's the thing about Juno: She says a lot, but not always what she means. Take her treatment of Paulie Bleeker (Superbad's Michael Cera), the geek who fathered her baby. Cera is a young Jedi master at low-key, but you can see he's hurt when Juno casually rejects him. And watch Juno get all fake-certain when she tells her parents, hilariously rendered as non-fools by Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons, that she wants to give up her baby for adoption. She thinks rich Vanessa (Jennifer Garner, quite good) and her husband, Mark (Jason Bateman, quite disturbing), are ideal, until Mark — attracted by her Dario Argento-loving movie tastes — hits on her.

Is Juno sometimes too clever and facile for its own good? You got that right. But it's also a hip and hilarious antidote to High School Musical goo. The devil in Cody's script lets in wit, anger, distress and the pain of romantic longing. Juno is more than a few smiles — it makes you laugh deeply. It's one from the bruised heart.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com