Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

On Juno

I am afraid to see Juno. I'll admit it.

Why? Unless you've been living under a film-blog rock (and I assume you haven't, since you've stumbled here), you know that Juno is this year's...well, Little Miss Sunshine, I guess, but I don't remember even that movie getting this ridiculous amount of hype. Everyone is sweet-talking Ellen Page's performance as Juno, the (of course) precocious pregnant teen (by Michael Cera, whom I obviously adore) who is giving her baby up to Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. Directed by Jason Reitman (whose first film, Thank You For Smoking, I didn't care to see either) and with a screenplay by it-girl-of-the-moment Diablo Cody (we'll get to her in a moment), even the poster advertises the "whip-smart" dialogue: it seems as if the actors are performing Cody's dialogue on a tightrope! The dialogue crackles with wit!

I usually hate movies like that, movies that are consciously trying to be witty. Wit, in my eyes, is something that isn't forced. It just happens. And when reviewers describe a movie as "whip-smart" and "crackling," to me, that usually signals forced wit and totally unnatural speech patterns. Juno just seems cute. And hip. The two things I hate most in a movie. I would often rather watch a stupid movie than one that's cute.

Diablo Cody has this public persona of being not hip but actually really hip -- here's a girl who had a sex column and was a stripper and now writes cool movies and even Steven Spielberg wants to work with her! I'm not buying it. There's something in my character that dictates that I always root against the Goliath, even when, in this case, the Goliath is actually a Hollywood David. If I had not seen Little Miss Sunshine right away, before all the hype, I almost certainly wouldn't have liked it as much.

So, like Pitchfork and Stereogum and their ilk are doing their unintentional part to kill indie bands by over-hyping them, so, I believe, film bloggers are doing with Juno. I could have gone to see it and enjoyed it perfectly fine, but not now, with everyone and their mother telling me it's by far the best film/screenplay/performance (I haven't even mentioned how I don't like Ellen Page -- well, I don't like her, the terrible movie that was Hard Candy and her performance there ruined her for me, at least for the moment) of the year. I'm predestined to not like it, to not give it a fair shot. And that stinks.

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Comments on "On Juno"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:13 PM) : 

I can totally understand where you are coming from. At the beginning of November, I saw this at an advance screening. The hype then was pretty ridiculous and its only gotten worse. Hoooowever, I did in fact love the film. So, maybe somehow try to block out all the baggage that comes along with it, and just try to enjoy the film (when you get a chance to see it). You just might like it.

Nice blog you've got here. I'll add a link to you on my page. Feel free to return to gesture!!

Wine and Werewolves


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:24 PM) : 

Oh, also, I did do a review for Juno on my blog after I saw it. It addresses a lot of the points you mentioned. Give it a look.


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