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Okay, smart guy!

::box2::

Jeffrey thinks I'm smart! Jeffrey thinks I'm smart!!!

(Just so you know, I was mocking the source of the quote, not you for quoting it. Puts me in mind of David Mamet in "Writing In Restaurants"; "If the question posed is one which can be answered rationally, e.g.: how does one fix a car, should white people be nice to black people, are the physically handicapped entitled to our respect, our enjoyment of the drama is incomplete

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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By the way, I asked Reitman in the interview what he hoped people would leave the movie thinking about. And I got the answer I seem to get in 9 out of 10 filmmaker interviews: He wants people not to judge other people, and to be open minded.
Yeah. Just once I wish one of those guys would be honest and admit, "I want people to judge other people, and to be closed minded."

Ha!

Yeah, the makers of Lars and the Real Girl did the same spiel -- "It's about tolerance and accepting differences," etc. -- whereas clearly the movie is significantly about how not all "differences" are created equal.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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This is a case where characters make the right moral decisions, but the film rarely moved me. I appreciate Steven's post -- it's an artful defense. But although I observed the same things he did, I didn't much care one way or the other.

There's one exception: Jennifer Garner. She's on screen a fair amount, but I wish the movie was more about her relationship with her husband than about Juno's relationship with her boyfriend, female friends, and parents. Despite all the hype around the lead actress' performance, I found her offputting, even when her horrified reactions late in the film were justified. I didn't find her amusing or insightful. Just annoying.

Her parents, on the other hand, were terrific, especially Janney, but also the dad, whose name I still don't know, even though I've seen him in several movies (I know I can find the name on IMDB, but I haven't done so). Jason Bateman is pretty great, too.

So, I guess what I'm sayin' is, liked the supporting cast, could've done with less of the main character. And since the movie is named after her, that's a problem.

I didn't hate it. I just didn't love it. It's right up the Paste editors' alley, while they place my top film of the year at #45. 8O

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian, my experience with the film was almost identical to yours. (Does that make up for our differences over Atonement?) :mellow:

This is a case where characters make the right moral decisions, but the film rarely moved me. I appreciate Steven's post -- it's an artful defense. But although I observed the same things he did, I didn't much care one way or the other.

Same here!

There's one exception: Jennifer Garner. She's on screen a fair amount, but I wish the movie was more about her relationship with her husband than about Juno's relationship with her boyfriend, female friends, and parents.

Me too!

Despite all the hype around the lead actress' performance, I found her offputting, even when her horrified reactions late in the film were justified. I didn't find her amusing or insightful. Just annoying.

I'm with you on this too, except that I did find her occasionally amusing. I do think the film suffered by letting Juno's personality overwhelm things. I got tired of her attitude, and only found myself really caring when she broke down in the truck and wept about broken families.

Her parents, on the other hand, were terrific, especially Janney, but also the dad, whose name I still don't know, even though I've seen him in several movies (I know I can find the name on IMDB, but I haven't done so). Jason Bateman is pretty great, too.

J.K. Simmons! He's almost always great. The only time he let me down as in the Coens' misguided Ladykillers remake, and even then it was mostly due to the script. He's been great on several television series for years and years.

So, I guess what I'm sayin' is, liked the supporting cast, could've done with less of the main character. And since the movie is named after her, that's a problem.

Yup.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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FWIW, my review.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Associated Press:

Fox Searchlight's "Juno" had a huge debut, hauling in $420,113 in just seven theaters, averaging a whopping $60,016 a cinema.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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A second viewing last night didn't alter my ambivalence toward the film. I don't dislike the movie, but I'm not so enamored with the title character. Her performance is good, so this is more of a personal thing; I just don't respond well to teenage sarcasm, having overused it myself in those days. I stick to my earlier comment that the characters surrounding Juno are interesting, one and all.

Why I go thumbs down on the movie, or thumbs sideways at best, is that first half hour. The tone grates on me. I sense the screenwriter thinking about how clever she thinks she's being, thinking that I'll be joining her in laughing at Juno's comments. But those comments do nothing for me. The comments just hang there.

Sarah watched the film with me this time, and she didn't laugh either. I was surprised, therefore, to discover that she liked the movie a lot. When I mentioned that I hadn't heard her laughing, she replied that she simply enjoyed the film for its tone, and for several later scenes that did make her (and me) laugh.

I'm pleased that she liked it, but am still wondering why this film feels distant to me.

Anyway, a question. Watching Juno a second time, I was struck by Allison Janney's nasty comments toward the "ultrasound technician." That scene made me uncomfortable the first time around, but I'd forgotten about it. Seeing it again, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel during that scene. I sense that I'm supposed to cheer Janney's character on, but frankly, while the ultrasound technician let slip a comment that could be perceived as judgemental, I think the nasty response far outweighs the "crime." Juno mentions later that the comment got everyone kicked out of the ultrasound clinic (hospital?), but I'm still not sure how to read the scene. Sure, the step-mother is protective of her step-daughter, and doesn't appreciate the technician's 'tude, but her venomous return-fire is the only moment when she seems less than composed, less than thoughtful.

I'm OK with that, I guess. But I'm wondering how others took that scene.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I don't recall caring for the ultrasound-technician scene that much, but FWIW, I have read that that was the director's favorite scene in the script.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Anyway, a question. Watching Juno a second time, I was struck by Allison Janney's nasty comments toward the "ultrasound technician." That scene made me uncomfortable the first time around, but I'd forgotten about it. Seeing it again, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel during that scene. I sense that I'm supposed to cheer Janney's character on, but frankly, while the ultrasound technician let slip a comment that could be perceived as judgemental, I think the nasty response far outweighs the "crime." Juno mentions later that the comment got everyone kicked out of the ultrasound clinic (hospital?), but I'm still not sure how to read the scene. Sure, the step-mother is protective of her step-daughter, and doesn't appreciate the technician's 'tude, but her venomous return-fire is the only moment when she seems less than composed, less than thoughtful.

I have the same trouble with that scene. The technician is out of line, but Janney answers a misguided comment with an atomic blast. The crowd laughed and cheered for Janney's response, which only increased my discomfort with that moment. God forbid anybody jump to the conclusion that a married couple might be better equipped to raise a child than a 16-year-old! (I think it's a fair thought on the technician's part, although it's certainly insensitive of her to say so in front of Juno.)

The only scene in the first part of the film that doesn't work for me is Rainn Wilson's scene. He seems to exist in a different movie, playing in his usual sit-com character mode, where everyone else seems real.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Jeffrey Wells:

But Jennifer Garner's performance as a clenched, hard-wired career woman who's looking to adopt Juno's baby went up a notch or two. I don't know why exactly. She's doesn't have a big money scene or anything. She just inhabits very fully and believably -- her character feels lived-in.

Ands that final baby-holding moment works pretty well.

All I know is that I sat up and took notice and went "hmmm."

So I'm thinking of putting Garner third in my list of Best Supporting Actress nominees, right behind Cate Blanchett and AmyRyanAmyRyanAnyRyan.

I could live with that.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I'm probably somewhere between Christian and those who will be considering this for year end lists. Liked it a lot, but not quite up to loving it.

The ultrasound rant didn't bother me that much. I thought it fit into the classism aspect of the film, although it doesn't necessarily fit perfectly.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I've been thinking about some of the religious (or anti-religious) visuals in the film. Wouldn't want to make too much out of any of them, but worth mentioning. Most are very brief -- look quick or you'll miss them.

Inside Juno's locker is a sticker with a cross in a circle-slash (No Christian). Her step-mother is Unitarian. In Paulie's room there is a hanging (maybe a velcro game) with the Hebrew alphabet.

Others?

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Darrel Manson wrote:

: Her step-mother is Unitarian.

Interesting -- where did you glean that from? I have seen at least one review claim that she is a Christian, based on a comment she makes about Jesus, but it didn't strike me as a significantly devout comment or anything, so I never felt like making anything of it.

Oh, and link to a blog post where I ponder, only half-jokingly, whether the recent Jamie Lynn Spears revelation will be to this film what Three Mile Island was to The China Syndrome. (The Wall Street - Crash of '87 link isn't quite the same, since the crash took place after the movie had been filmed but a month or two before it was released.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Darrel Manson wrote:

: Her step-mother is Unitarian.

Interesting -- where did you glean that from? I have seen at least one review claim that she is a Christian, based on a comment she makes about Jesus, but it didn't strike me as a significantly devout comment or anything, so I never felt like making anything of it.

In one scene as Juno discusses her options for the evening she says that she could go with her stepmother to her Unitarian church. It goes by quickly. Easy to miss.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I really liked this film also. I can't say I would follow in Ebert's or Paste's footsteps and call it the best film of the year, but it will definitely in my top 10, maybe in my top 5.

I was impressed that more than simply being a pro-life/anti-divorce film, the film shows how Juno's character develops throughout the film,

how the mask comes off her hipster/sarcastic attitude. The act of childbearing lets her experience real emotion, and by the end of the film, she is more willing to accept her parents, and to accept the emotions her boyfriend has felt for her all along.

Edited by Crow
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  • 2 weeks later...

'Juno' soars to number two at box office

After placing fifth a week ago, the Jason Reitman teen pregnancy comedy pushed its way to second yesterday with $5.2 million; repping a 56% uptick thanks to its theater expansion to 1,925. In the midst of its fifth frame, the pic has accumulated $41 million. . . . While "Juno" hopes to latch onto second place throughout the weekend, the pic squeaked past Warner Bros. fare "One Missed Call" and "I Am Legend" which respectively filled the day's third and fourth slots. . . .

Variety, January 5

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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After tsk-tsking the takedown of another film that's nearly universally admired, I found myself nodding appreciatively at some of Dennis Cozzalio's slam of Juno as the year's worst movie!

This smarmy comedy plays like the second coming of John Hughes, Voice of a Generation (just not his own), and I realize that for some people that

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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