Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA/Canada, 2007. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Mandate Pictures, Mr. Mudd. Screenplay by Diablo Cody. Cinematography by Eric Steelberg. Produced by Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Mason Novick, Russell Smith. Music by Mateo Messina. Production Design by Steve Saklad. Costume Design by Monique Prudhomme. Film Editing by Dana E. Glauberman. Academy Awards 2007. American Film Institute 2007. Golden Globe Awards 2007. Independent Spirit Awards 2007. Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2007. National Board of Review Awards 2007. New York Film Critics Awards 2007. Toronto International Film Festival 2007. Washington Film Critics Awards 2007.
Sixteen year-old wiseass Juno (Ellen Page) has curiousity-driven sex with her boyfriend (Michael Cera) and finds herself knocked up. Without the slightest hesitation she seeks out a well-off childless couple (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner) to be the adoptive parents, in the meantime befriending them and finding that the husband is more sympathetic to her preternatural intelligence than anyone else in her life. Beyond that she has to deal with supportive but rankled parents, an increasingly confused and distant boyfriend, and some pretty intense stares from her classmates as her belly grows and her due date approaches. This overrated but sweet critic-charmer falters a few times thanks to Jason Reitman’s graceless direction and some ripely self-aware moments by Page, but Diablo Cody’s smart script is loveable even when it becomes too obvious that it’s a fantasy of how self-possessed we all wish we were in our teen years and not actually an accurate investigation of what it portrays. The overall effect is wonderful, and both Page and her character are far too amiable to let the flaws stick, plus the conclusion is lovely.