Sunday, January 6, 2008

Movie Review: Juno - PG13

I know we've had 2 Juno reviews, but I saw it today and just had to add my 2 cents :)

Before I get into it, I have to ask: Did anyone else spot the 'no religion' sticker inside Juno's locker door in a school scene pretty early on? It was a cross with a red-circle around it, and a red line through it. It only showed for a couple seconds, but I considered it a negative subliminal message.

As for the movie itself: Juno is a 16 year-old who finds herself pregnant by her best friend, Paulie Bleeker. It takes 3 home pregnancy tests to convince her :). She realizes that, at 16, she is not ready for motherhood. Her First plan is to have an abortion. When she goes to the clinic, she sees a girl she knows from school protesting outside and the girl tells her that the baby has fingernails. This information resonates with Juno, and she decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption.

She is very nervous, but her parents turn out to be pretty supportive.
Through a Pennysaver ad, Juno finds a couple (Mark and Vanessa) looking to adopt. Her father goes with her to meet them. At first, they come off as a couple of yuppies, but they all agree on the adoption. Later, we find out more about each of them. Juno spots Vanessa at the mall playing with a little kid. Mark is not as certain of fatherhood as he initially seems.

Overall, a very good movie. It was indeed as life-affirming as I expected. It also had many comedic moments. When the time comes for the baby to be born, Juno does experience some feelings of regret, but everything turns out well in the end. I don't want to give away any more of the story...As Julie once mentioned, it is sometimes hard to do a thorough review without giving away too much detail. I do highly recommend...You will leave the theater smiling :).


Esther said...

I was one of those Catholic moms who relied exclusively on the USCCB movie ratings to decide if a movie was suitable for our family viewing. No more. Thanks to this group and a few other Catholic movie review sites and blogs, we can get the real scoop.
Mahalo nui loa kakou!! (Thank you very much everyone)

BTW, I'm glad you posted this review of Juno. I have been debating whether or not to see it.

Julie D. said...

Hey Christine, I'm really looking forward to seeing this and am glad to read your review as well as the others.

As for the "no religion" message I think that really makes the pro-life message even stronger ... in a way proving to those who don't want religion mixed in their lives that there is more than "one reason" to choose life. So in a way it could be seen as a positive for the overall life message. (Just thinking of the many people I know who are very hostile to any mention of religion.)

Christine said...

Very good point Julie... abortion is not strictly a religious is a pro-life issue.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with a person who posted in response to your "review" of National Treasure. He used rather harsh language, which I disagree with, but his main point was that your posts so far have not really been movie reviews. You are just summarizing story lines and saying whether you think they are compatible with your Catholic faith. That may be the information some people are looking for, but it's not really what a movie review is.

I really don't like knowing the story line from a reviewer as this tends to trivialize the artistry of a work (The Old Man and the Sea is not really about an old guy who catches a big fish and then dies trying to pull it in. But saying that ruins the book for anyone who hasn't read it).

Therefore, although I am interested in a Catholic perspective on movies, I won't be reading your posts. Bsrbara Nicolosi of Church of the Masses might have some helpful suggestions about how to review a movie and capture whether or not it has a perspective that Catholics will appreciate or not (without giving away the movie's story). Perhaps you could ask her to link to her own movie reviews, which she only occasionally posts.

Julie D. said...

Anonymous, I do know what you mean (and much appreciate your more courteous communication, btw!).

However, I would argue that some reviews are as you characterize them while others definitely are not. For instance, may I direct your attention Eastern Promises as a review any publication would be proud to print. As this is a group blog, one must take into account that there are different styles of reviews. Some of these may meet your standards and others may not, which is certainly understandable. However, Ms. Nicolosi, though praiseworthy for all her efforts, is not everyone's cup of tea either.

I think if nothing else, we must agree that some like one sort of review and others like others. N'est-ce pas? :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Julie,

Thanks for your reply. My point was not that B. Nicolosi is always correct about her perspective on movies, or that everyone should agree with her reviews. My point was that she could provide some perspetive on how to right a review without simply summarizing a story line. Your perspective could be your own, but the techniques in communicating the perspective could be a bit more sophisticated. But perhaps there are people who just want to know the story of a movie before they go see it. I'm no expert!

Julie D. said...

Anon, I did know what you meant about Nicolosi's reviews. You were just putting forth hers as being professional and I completely agree. The sense of perspective, etc. are the things that I, myself, look for in a review, as well as theme, style, etc.

However, I have noticed that some of the reviews that are most appreciated around her so far are those which are more "down home" and personal than those I would use to choose a movie. We evidently can cover all perspectives here (at least we would all hope so).

I think it's kind of like art. I'm no expert but I know what I like ... and so do you! :-)

Anonymous said...

The sticker in Juno's locker does not say "no religion", and it is certainly not a subliminal message against chirstianity and catholicism. The sticker, which was large and obvious, advertizes a (politically aware and intelligent, highly educated)punk-rock group, named "bad religion". The emblem is not intended as an affront to anyone or any god. It was merely a part of the set...

Anonymous said...

That sticker was not a "no religion" or "anti-religion" sticker. It was a sticker of the logo of the Band "Bad Religion"

Just FYI

Anonymous said...

just putting it out there im catholic myself but That sticker was not a "no religion" or "anti-religion" sticker. It was a sticker of the logo of the Band "Bad Religion" has nothing to do with antichrist and stuff. the music is not bad at all so it would be kinda in your best intrest to change that on your little review you have going there.