DVD Traffic Report: April 15, 2008


480_juno-dvd.jpgJuno (Fox)

Yes, it’s absolutely crazy that this was nominated for Best Picture. Still, Juno is a pretty good time, elevated by the wry comic performance at its

center—the 20-year-old Ellen Page delivers an endless succession of

one-liners like she’s just vocalizing every colorfully sarcastic,

occasionally scabrous thought that pops into her head. It’s a breakout

performance that humanizes a script by erstwhile stripper (but you knew that) Diablo Cody that’s just a

little too reliant on clever verbiage to create completely credible

characters. Page plays Juno, a newly pregnant 16-year-old who, appalled by her visit to the local

abortion clinic, decides to carry her baby to term. The first

two-thirds is played for laughs, contrasting Juno’s

air of worldliness with the gentle confusion of her boyfriend (Michael

Cera of Superbad) and the quiet desperation of the young couple

(Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) seeking to adopt. In the third act,

the air of hipness dissipates and Juno becomes just the story of a girl who knows she’s in over her head and

tries her best to do the right thing. Songs from the likes of The Moldy

Peaches, Belle and Sebastian and even The Velvet Underground amplify

the feeling of twee folksiness, but the emotions are, finally, honest

and complex. A version of this review originally appeared in The White Plains Times.

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