Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Juno-- Jimmy's Perspective

If you haven't seen Juno yet, it's worth your time and money. Overall I would say that this is a good film with likable characters and dialog so snappy your ears are red by the end. Visually the film isn't that interesting but there are instances of visual acuity. The image I'm thinking of happens right after Ms. Page's character has a meltdown and drives off in her jalopy of a van. Pulled over to the side of a practically abandoned highway, the camera moves from the van to a high angle shot of a wide open road fading off into the horizon. This shot, the high angle peering down the seemingly endless road, does an excellent (though almost cliche) job of illustrating the literal "long road ahead" and the potential that this girl has. Don't jump in expecting the rich text of more intellectual films, but there are a few interesting images.

As I said earlier, the dialog of Juno is great, but it almost tried too hard at times. Given the situations and the people that were in them, some fumbling is expected. Instead, we have pristine responses and overly quirky banter. It's all quite quotable and often funny, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing

I'll be the first to admit its impossible to escape ideology in filmmaking. Anything that takes so much effort, money, and time can't help but taking on some of the agenda of the filmmaker. In this instance its pretty obvious how Mr. Reitman feels about abortion. To each his own. My qualm lies in the possible glorification of teen pregnancy. If not glorification, the trivializing effect a film like this (and Knocked Up) might have. The whole situation is a bit of a Catch-22. If you don't talk about it in the media, those effected might not be educated on the issue but if it is over-exposed you run the risk of glamorizing or desensitizing the world to teen pregnancy. I digress.

If you get a chance, watch Juno. Ignore the tacky titles at the beginning and bask in the glory of excellently rendered dialog and a well-developed story.

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