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Look out for more coverage of
Juno in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Juno

THE STARS:
Ellen Page • Michael Cera • Jennifer Garner • Jason Bateman • Allison Janney • JK Simmons
DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman

Allison Janney, Ellen Page and JK Simmons THE CONCEPT:
Confidently frank teenage girl Juno (Page) discovers she’s pregnant and hatches a plan to find the baby the perfect set of parents. Looking through the Penny Saver, she comes across an ad from Mark and Vanessa Loring (Bateman & Garner), who are longing to adopt a child.

U.S. RELEASE: December 5 2007, Limited
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

JASON REITMAN:
Director Jason Reitman “I’m attracted to subjects that normally are considered tricky, like Thank You for Smoking and Juno, but deal with it in a very casual manner that’s not trying to bring attention to the politics, but rather has characters just making very normal decisions. In a weird way I find that it’s usually that kind of material that gets to the core of issues in a better way.”

DIABLO CODY (screenwriter):
“This was my first screenplay ever. I didn’t actually know much about dialogue and I think that’s why it sounds a little whacky. I can understand why people would say [the characters sounded too witty], but If somebody could sit down and talk to some of the people involved in the making of this film, like Ellen Page and Michael Cera [who plays her boyfriend], they would realize that there are in fact human beings who are that quick on their feet.”

REITMAN:
“What I love about Diabo’s writing is that it’s able to be inventive and authentic at the same time. I can understand the reaction where you go, ‘I’m not sure if I know people who talk exactly like this,’ but I don’t think that’s the barometer for what’s real. The barometer is whether or not you can actually make a movie out of it that seems sincere – the combination of great actors and Diablo’s writing has delivered scenes where the language is inventive but there’s a legitimacy to everything that they’re saying.”

ELLEN PAGE:
“I wanted to be Juno so badly; I was in awe of her. The script rocks … I’m so grateful to be a part of Juno. I’ve been really, really lucky lately. I’ve gotten to play so many different roles, even just this last year. It’s been great. The opportunities have been amazing.”

JK SIMMONS (Mac, Juno’s father):
“Ellen is smarter than most young actresses, which was obviously great casting. There is a combination of just native intelligence and she’s incredibly well-read. She’s ridiculously down to earth.”

ALLISON JANNEY (Bren, Juno’s step-mother):
“Ellen’s very centered and a very grounded girl. I felt intimidated by her at times. I’m not even that calm. She’s just totally cool.”

JASON BATEMAN:
“I did The Kingdom with Jennifer [Garner] before this movie, and it helped me in the sense that she was very vocal about getting me to do this. I don’t say no to her, she’s just too angelic. The idea of hanging out with her for another couple of weeks was pretty interesting.”

MICHAEL CERA (Paulie):
“The dialogue in this movie is so great, you don’t want to hit it too hard and really call a lot of attention to it. It was just so much fun to say those things, and to do it without putting too much emphasis on the things you were saying. I like the idea that these guys just talk like that all the time. That is how the script felt.”

PAGE:
“I’m obviously totally not the characters that I play. But you always ask the ‘How do you relate?’ question no matter what character you play. I feel like whenever a character is honest, and whole, and well-written, you are going to be able to connect to them. It’s just about approaching it by connecting to that person and creating whatever individual aspects you feel are right.”

BATEMAN:
“Ellen is just so natural, and so all of the conversational dialogue just came out very freely. It was easy for me being 38to have a peer dynamic with someone who’s 20 because she’s just so cool and mature.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Juno site
Images above © Fox Searchlight Pictures
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #691, January 2008 cover

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