Friday, January 04, 2008

Movie Review: Juno

Straight up... this is one of the best movies I've seen in a while.

The things that stick out as being fantastic in this film are...
  • The Direction
  • The Soundtrack
  • The Script/Story
  • The Acting
  • The Casting
Hold on, isn't that like, you know, the whole movie?!??!! Yes, folks, yes it is.

I knew it was going to be good, but it totally blew me away. It's got a 94% on Rottentomatoes at the moment which is outstanding and it definitely deserves this. It was suuuuuuuuch a good movie. Good times had by all, and I did see it with some of my favourite people in the world (which added to my enjoyment of the movie, obviously), but if I was sitting in a cold, dark room with bad lighting and acoustics and the ceiling was dripping water on me and I had wet socks and all there was to eat and drink was cold pizza and flat coca-cola... I would have still loooooooooooooooved the movie.

Why was it SO good? Well, I heard the movie and the soundtrack described as "quirky" (i.e. kinda emo and some spoken-word as well as silly sounding off-key songs that trade vocals between a guy and a girl singer... basically kinda wierd but still awesome.) It is hardcore reminiscent of the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack.

The acting was just perfect, and the casting was spot-on too. The acting powerhoused-ness of Michael Cera and Jason Bateman is clear since their Arrested Development days, and J.K. Simmons was just as hilarious as he was as the head Newspaper editor in the Spider-Man movies. Amazing. Ellen Page is perfect for the role too, and pulls off the silly teenage lines in the script with perfect comedic timing. The script was ridiculously funny, and I have a feeling Diablo Cody has got to get at least a nomination for the Oscars this year.

The direction was glorious too. When your Dad is the legendary Ivan Reitman, I bet it's a pretty nurturing environment to become such an amazing director, and Jason Reitman's previous film, Thank You For Smoking, was also very, very, very good. And VERY different from the usual kind of film you see. I love this "wide audience indie" genre. I loved it, loved it, loved it.

Seems to me that Fox Searchlight really knows how to pick films. Every Fox Searchlight film I've ever seen I've loved, and they are these sort of lower budget films that are still professional and so on, but don't have much of the typical Blockbuster-ness added to them... pretty minimal special effects and sound, and so more of a focus on the acting and the relationships on the screen. Very, very good.

Brilliant direction, an absolutely spot-on soundtrack, perfect casting, painfully honest and natural script... this is pure gold. Expect a lot of Oscars for this one. :) Well done Jason Reitman, and what a cast!!!!

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