Term Paper: Movie Juno

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Mark Grey


The present work's focus is to develop a critique of Juno, the much acclaimed 2007 motion picture that received an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay -- Diablo Cody, and several other Oscar nominations, such as Best Picture and Best Actress -- Ellen Page.

Jason Reitman, the director, made all the right moves, from setting, to actors, to music, and even though there were two other movies dealing with unplanned pregnancy released in the same period, namely Waitress and Knocked Up, Juno stood out as a comedy with class, style, and substance. The soundtrack and music are wonderfully arranged for this film, nineteen tracks having been selected from a wide variety of artists including the Kinks, Buddy Holly and the Velvet Underground. Indeed, Barry Louis Polisar's All I Want Is You became iconic for the film and went to No.1 on the Billboard charts.

The film's structure is very well orchestrated, with a plotline that justifies the general enthusiasm surrounding this film. This story involves a sixteen-year-old high school girl named Juno MacGuff, played by Ellen Page, who discovers that she is pregnant, and that the father of her child is an old friend named Paulie Bleeker. Bleeker has always admired Juno and in time they confess their love for each other. The fact that Juno's parents seem a bit more accepting of this situation than perhaps many parents of pregnant teenage girls would be doesn't detract from the flow of the plot. Surprisingly, Juno decides not to go through with the scheduled abortion, and settles on adoption, yet after finding what she believes to be an ideal pair to raise her child, Vanessa and Mark's fragile marriage falls apart. Nevertheless, Juno decides to proceed with her design to have the baby and then place him in Vanessa's nurturing custody.

Paulie and Juno's relationship visibly alters as the action unfolds, morphing from simple teenage affection into established partnership, as the couple faces a serious issue that could have been a tense disaster but for their intelligence and social savvy. What happens to young Juno could happen to any teenage girl, and her decisions are those that a typical intelligent young woman would make. Those decisions made by Juno are made with no thought of doing what others might expect her to make, and "Juno serves cool, intelligent girls something they rarely see in a movie: themselves" (Morris), which some viewers might interpret as explicitly feminist.

The cast are very believable and enjoyable in their roles. The main characters in this comedy are Juno MacGuff played by Ellen Page, Paulie Bleeker played by Michael Cera, Vanessa Loring played by Jennifer Garner, Mark Loring played by Jason… [END OF PREVIEW]

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