Well, It is that time again... I'm bored witless and in a mood to make opinions about movies!
Before I start on today's review, I will inform you that the next blog review will be of Kim Ki-Duk's Classic Film 3-Iron
. This is because... Well... It is one of my favourite films of all time and I wanna show my love to the world. It is beautiful both visually and expressively... Plus, as Vice President of my University's Film Society, I will be showing this movie as a free screening very soon. It'll refresh my memory of any awesome moments that I may have forgotten about.
Right, while we are on the subject of forgetting things, these kids should have remembered to use a Condom as I review Cyrus's favourite knocked-up chick, Juno
, written by now Academy Award Winner Diablo Cody.
Whenever people think of teen movies, people can go into multiple routes but all of them are the same. From the teen films of the 1980’s such as the Breakfast Club
and St- Elmo’s Fire
, the gritty ‘no one understands me’
flicks like Brick, Kidulthood
to the now long line of preppy and ignorant ones such as Bring It On, Not Another Teen Movie
and… Hannah Montana (Shivers…)
. All these kind of films have a very similar outline, expressing teen antics, love and to a point the naive stupidity and melodramatic tone these kids seem to go through. However, when I heard about Juno
and began watching the promotions for it… It seemed to have a completely different approach to it with a style and character seeming more… well, adult as it were, giving the impression that this was going to be more than just a simple coming of age tale. But is Juno
a mature woman of a film or is it just another whining baby looking for its bottle?
The plot of the film sounds simple, but it isn’t portrayed like it in the film. Juno, played by who I consider to be the next Jodie Foster Ellen Page, is a young teenage girl who just doesn’t seem to fit in much due to her in your face attitude and witty banter (Sorta like a non Gothic Daria).
When she loses her virginity and has unprotected sex with her boyfriend out of pure boredom (ever heard of an XBox kids?)
, Juno becomes pregnant and is forced to face this problem head on by herself. She decides that she is too young to become a mother and plans on giving it away for adoption to a young and seemingly happy couple, only to discover more problems along the way. The story has plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest rolling, especially with the multiple love angles that occur throughout the film.
probably has one of the finest casting calls ever in a film as each actor pulled off their characters perfectly. Ellen Page is the new upcoming shining star of Hollywood and that statement can be cemented in with this movie. When I saw her for the first time in the film Hard Candy
as a underage maniac on a vengeful mission against a so-called pedophile, it was strong, intimidating and just oozing with excitement. In Juno
, her range completely changes from first seeming like an strong and independent girl who due to the unlucky pregnancy becomes very weak under the pressure and is forced to use her cool banter as a shield. The whole male cast not only had perfect comical timing but was able to set a real form of realism to each set piece, especially the utterly uber-amazing Jason Bateman (biased tone anyone?).
But the biggest surprise of this film is… wait for it… Jennifer Garner. Yes, the Alias
girl… Her portrayal as the adoption mother was amazing, expressing both sides of her personality, stealing the show for me as it wasn’t expected. Who knew that the woman who played Elektra
could play such a layered role? She was the only character that I felt was the most developed and was the easier one to feel sympathetic for. Not only have these actors able to play the parts so well, but were able to make the likable, as well as hated, people in a far more understandable and create a true connection. The whole cast made the characters their own.
But this couldn’t be done without an awesome script to help inspire these actors. Throughout all the promotions, interviews and critical reviews, they all mention the film’s dialogue is the main appeal that is luring the audience’s attention. And the masses are right with this vote. The script is a sharp piece of work, with great one-liners and wit, all packed together in a nice bow. Some of the lines uttered by these characters, especially out of Ellen Page, will make you stop in your tracks and laugh. But there is more to this film than funny banter. The story has great character building and contains some very sweet moments that pluck the heartstrings just right. She has created a piece that not only had subtly and honesty, but also has true personal reflection. Diablo Cody did deserve the screenplay Oscar for this teenage antics triumph.
Even with all this praise… This ain’t a perfect film by all means. And this all revolves under one problem that I have.
My main problem with this film is…
It is an indie hipster movie and it knows it from the start.
follows all the rules and ticks all the boxes when it comes to what is required in an so called independent film. With its annoying alternative folk music soundtrack blasting with no way of phasing it out, its hip lingo that not even the most recent of the YouTube/Internet generation can understand, its low budget camera techniques with the occasional arty moment and a huge bombardment of obscure, postmodern film, television and classic rock references, it almost makes the whole movie experience feel alien to watch. There were moments where I wanted to stop the film, search Google and see what these youngsters are talking about. It is giving a loud and almost obnoxious yelling to the audience, saying if you do not know what these characters are talking about, then you are not cool and not down with the kids. I felt old and out of touch watching it and I’m only 21. The film’s direction tries too hard to be original while still under the Indie structure and sadly it shows, creating a strange atmospheric bubble that these very beloved characters are forced to be in. Shame…
is a fine piece of storytelling with an amazing cast, but it is trapped within its indie limits that stops it from being a dramatic and sweet masterpiece.