Saturday, May 31, 2008
It's been months since I saw Juno (and since i wrote on my blog too but lets skip that part). Recently, however, someone bought me its soundtrack. The music reminded me vividly the film.
Juno is a film about a problem that seems to rattle America: teenage pregnancy. The film however instead of portraying a dramatic situation it takes the subject lightly and presents it with a great sense of humor. Juno is a teenage girl that decides to try sex with a friend. She is not in love she doesn't even have a boy friend she is just curious about sex. When she discovers that she is pregnant she tries to get an abortion. She is too afraid of the doctors to do it and she decides to give berth and the give the child for adoption to another couple. This is truly a modern film. There is not a single trace of conservatism in this film. Parents instead of freaking out and lecturing prove supporting and understanding. The friends do the same. Juno manages to live all the period of her pregnancy in a protective shell formed by the couple that wants to adopt the child, by her parents and her friends. If voices of prejudice, conservatism and religious hysteria appear in few instances are treated by the film with such contempt that are easily stumped out.
The direction of the film is subtle and efficient. There are no ingenious shots and intricate camera movement. On the other hand colors, cuts and camera views serve perfectly the story with it's lightness and optimism. The film leans heavily on the young actress Elen Page. She does an excellent job and supports the clever script of Diablo Cody. In X-men where she appeared she was at the least mediocre in her role. Here, though, the film offers her the opportunity to prove that she can be a great actress.
The film chooses to look only on the bright side of the situation no mater the few setbacks it presents -just for the shake of suspense. Some can say that it is naive and over optimistic. The tragic effects of teenage pregnancy have been discussed in so many other films and even more soap operas. This film chooses to say to a teenager that: ok! you made a mistake and you are pregnant. This is not the end of the world nor the end of your life. You can still have a life a future and dreams. It chooses to teach not through fear and terror but through humor compassion and intelligence. And that is an achievement.