By William John
So I'm going to talk about the often overlooked, but beautifully made film about growing up too quickly.
Juno is about an unusual teenage girl, Juno (Ellen Page) who finds herself pregnant by her best friend (Michael Cera) after their first and only time. Unlike most in her position, Juno makes the brave decision to have the child and give it up for adoption, after finding a seemingly perfect couple as the baby's new parents.
Probably the best performance however, is Jennifer Garner's performance as Vanessa. Desperate after several failed pregnancy attempts, we watch Vanessa's change from an broody control freak, to a loving parent, sympathising with her every concern. One touching (pardon the pun?) scene in particular takes place between Vanessa and Juno in a shopping mall, where Vanessa touches (see what I did there...) Juno's baby bump. We sit in suspense, watching Vanessa nearly break down at the baby's lack of response to her, before finally feeling her elation as she feels her future child kick for the first time.
There are so many features of Juno that stand out it is difficult to concentrate on any one thing. For me, one of the best things was the soundtrack. Apart from sporting a wide variety of music, the film also features some quirky pieces from almost unknown Singer/Songwriter Kimya Dawson, which compliment the nature of the film perfectly with their Indy style, care-free outlook on life. The optimistic attitude towards the situation and indeed life is also reflected in the cartoon titles, with comic-book style animations giving us an insight into the quaint way Juno perceives the world around her.
SPOILER ALERT (Highlight to read)
Without a doubt, one of the most heartfelt moments in the entire film is when Paulie (Cera) arrives moments after the baby's birth. Juno's father (JK Simmons) approaches the boy, and simply places his hands on his shoulder, nods with a small, respectful smile, and leaves the room. Despite the lack of dialogue, this scene speaks thousands of words. It is so important in symbolising the idea of a boy growing up, and earning his place in the world, and the acceptance from a man who has every reason to dislike him.
Juno is a unique masterpiece. A beautiful combination of comedy, romance and drama, brought together to create a film everyone can and should enjoy. It's no wonder there are three copies in our house alone!