Cast: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Olivia Thirlby
Rating: « « «
Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) becomes pregnant after a night with old friend, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Though she considers abortion initially, she decides against it and begins hunting for adoptive parents along with her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby). The search leads her to Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) but as her relationship with Mark crosses the border into flirting, she learns that Mark is divorcing Vanessa.
Meanwhile, life at school is hardly smooth. Her protruding belly is causing oh-so-many heads to turn and her relationship with Paulie is on a rollercoaster. Though she has been relatively distant (except, maybe, that one night!), she gets upset when he invites another girl to the prom. The rest of the movie chronicles how Paulie and Juno sort out their romance and what they decide to do about the baby.
Even as she tries to sort out her life, she goes into labour. Not wanting to inform Paulie who is at an athletic meet, she goes to the hospital. Paulie rushes there when he realises Juno is not in the stands and their relationship is back on track. Neither of them see the baby (”which was never really ours”) and Vanessa adopts the baby boy as a single mom after Juno decides to go ahead with adoption.
On the positive side is some great acting, especially Ellen Page as Juno. She conveys all the feelings of a pregnant teenager with ease. Olivia Thirlby as Leah helps lighten an otherwise serious story. Allison Janney, as Juno’s motherly stepmother is another big plus. The scene where she ticks off the ultrasound technician is unforgettable as is her ability to express varied emotions with ease. Another positive is the way Juno is shown — independent and happy (most of the time!) dispelling the stereotype of being depressed and alone in such a situation.
The negatives: Michael Cera as Paulie. And the constant reference to “babies have fingernails” is not funny after a while.
In the final cut, a good movie but not a masterpiece though it was nominated for the Academy Awards, and the Golden Globe awards at various levels.
YASHASVINI RAJESHWAR, a student of Headstart Learning Centre
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