Juno

Juno (2007) is a beautiful movie I saw last night.  It’s funny without being silly.  It’s dramatic without being sappy.  It’s clever without being self-conscious.  There’s a good reason it is nominated for 4 Academy Awards this year.   PhotobucketA 16-year old gets pregnant.  What does she do?  How does she feel?  Incredibly well-written.  In fact, perhaps too well-written.  The 16-year old lingo is deceptive.  In the midst of all the jargon and slang, I felt like Juno was saying things that a teenager would not say.  She’s far too articulate and clever.  However, if her lines were closer to a real teen’s language, it would be a boring movie.  It’s anything but boring.Juno reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite in that it is told from a quirky teenager’s perspective.  Very creative.  Definitely worth seeing.

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2 responses to “Juno

  1. Juno was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s definitely in the top tier of my favorite movies ever. (Those two lists don’t necessarily overlap that much.)

    The language thing is something that a lot of people get hung up on, but I don’t think it should be. First, as you said, if the characters talked like real teenagers the movie would be boring, unwatchable really. Teenagers are idiots, but that’s no surprise and no real insult, because most people are idiots. At least, we sound like idiots. I mean, if someone recorded 9 months of my dialog with other people, I highly doubt that you could edit out 2 hours worth of stuff that would be interesting to anyone else to listen to.

    But, setting that aside, movies are art. In art the artist has “artistic license” (which is not a very creative term) in how he or she represents the subject of the art. All movies have affected language, some more so than others. Most of Tarantino’s movies (and the countless copycats since his success) contain a pace and rhythm and eloquence of language that no adults ever use in real life.

    And, it’s not just movies that do it. No teenagers ever talked like Romeo and Juliet either. In fact, nobody in history has ever spoken naturally in verse, but many characters do in many of the plays of Shakespeare and most other classical plays.

    Okay, enough about the language. (It didn’t seem like it was a huge obstacle for you, but I had those thoughts so I thought I’d share them.)

    What was important to me was that the human relational and emotional dynamics in the movie were very true. The way Juno and Bleeker interacted with and responded to each other in many situations I thought was spot on. The feelings and emotions of Jennifer Garner’s character who wants to adopt Juno’s baby was spot on. And lots of characters and interactions were like that.

    This movie definitely touched an emotional nerve with us as foster parents and hopefully-someday-adoptive parents. My best plug for the movie is to describe my wife’s reaction. We both laughed a lot through the movie. It was very funny. When it was over, we walked to the care in silence, both processing what we had seen. As soon as we got in the car, she cried in my arms for 5 minutes or so. Then, as we were driving away from the theater, she said to me, “I want to see it again.” To which I said, “Yeah, me too.”

    One more thing. I told another friend that this was perhaps the most pro-life movie I have ever seen. But it was not pro-life in the political sense or what pro-life means on CNN or FoxNews. In fact, if I was forced to guess, I would venture to say that very few if any of the main people involved in creating the movie are “pro-life” in the technical/political sense of the term. (I mean, maybe they are, I have no idea, but my point is it’s kind of beside the point.) The movie was pro-life in the sense that it presented a view of the world in which, even though there is radical and pervasive brokenness, one can yet find relationships and beauty and goodness that make life worth living and worth supporting and affirming.

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Rehnquist
    .

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