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A comedy about growing up... and the bumps along the way.
Notes from 2007 TIFF, 9 September 2007
Author: Richard from Toronto
I saw this film at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival.
Juno MacGuff (played magnificently by TIFF regular Ellen Page), finds herself pregnant, knocked up by her best friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera) on their first attempt at sex. Juno, with the help of her best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby), takes it upon herself to find some adoptive parents. Courtesy of the local Penny Saver, she soon finds childless couple Mark and Vanessa (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner).
With the help of her surprisingly supportive father (J.K. Simmons) and stepmom (Allison Janney), Juno embarks on her pregnancy, which ends up affecting everyone in some unexpected and touching ways.
This was a great film, probably the best I've seen so far at the festival. Ellen Page gives a wonderful performance as Juno, convincingly portraying her as a real independent free spirit. Michael Cera was good and funny, although I occasionally had trouble divorcing his character from George-Michael Bluth. J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney did a nice turn as Juno's parents. Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman were great as the adoptive parents who, while seemingly the perfect suburban couple on the outside, have their own sets of issues on the inside. Bateman especially gave a great performance as Mark, who is worried about sacrificing his own dreams as he connects with Juno over a shared love of music and the reality of the baby sinks in.
This is director Jason Reitman's follow up to his first feature film, Thank You For Smoking, which also debuted at the festival on the exact same date and time in 2005. This is screenwriter Diablo Cody's first feature film, and she put together a refreshing take on the typical teen pregnancy story with some great dialogue for the actors. The audience laughed so hard at some of the lines, they drowned out the ones that followed.