Monday, February 25, 2008

In Your Face, Juno

Maybe it was a sympathetic nomination. Maybe it was popularity that got it nominated. It was inevitable that this "little" movie was destined to make a "cross-over". But I don't believe for a moment that it was ever destined to be just an obscure film. There was all sorts of hype behind it and all the kids loved it for its collection of Kimya Dawson songs on the soundtrack. They somehow related to this 16-year old who believes she speaks like an adult but is forced to make a very grown-up decision about an unwanted pregnancy.
It had identical, pretentiously blunt dialog and icky sentimentality that caused me to truly dislike Jason Reitman's previous effort Thank You for Smoking.
It would have been a hell of an upset if this movie had won the Best Picture Oscar over the four other stronger efforts. And that's also how I feel about the Oscar having been given to its screenwriter over the other movies nominated. How does Juno even compare? It barely surpasses the line of being an afterschool special. The pickings were slim, but doesn't mean there wasn't a superior product to choose over it.
Not that Juno was an awful movie. I really wanted to enjoy it. I thought some of the characters had authenticity and were slightly likable. Certainly the actors gave it a go, unfortunately working with a very flimsy script (a flimsy, Oscar winning script). This movie feels almost as if it was aimed at kids. Jason Bateman is completely unconvincing as a former frontman for a rock band from the early 90's. The conversations with his character and Juno weigh the film down with unnecessary references that the writer seemed to sprinkle all over the film to maintain some sort of hipster cred. The dialogue immediately dated the film with some references that even seem out of time. Not an awful movie, but a highly overrated one.
I'm glad to say that it was No Country for Old Men that went home a champion, having taken awards for Best Supporting Actor, Best Director(s), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. Based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy, it will definitely get millions to start reading his books. Now, many can be exposed to the greatest living writer in America.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

i think juno WAS aimed at kids. why else would a writer try to be so overly hip and in touch with that age group?
i really don't think it was created to move adult minds , although it did have me crying, but i cry over pampers commercials..
and i hate quick witted pretentious dialouge as much as the next person, but i find it acceptable in this case because it is mostly a comedy/dramedy. doesn't woody allen basically do the same thing?

i thought i was going to absolutely hate this movie, but i was happy to see that it made it above the shit line of Garden State.