by Roger Ebert, published on December 30, 2009 3:53 PM|
4. "Juno" (2007). One of a kind, a film that delighted me from beginning to end, never stepping wrong with its saucy young heroine who faces an unexpected pregnancy with forthright boldness. To be sure, life doesn't always provide parents and an adoptive mother for the baby as comforting as Juno's. But Jason Reitman's second feature doesn't set out to be realistic; it's a fable about how the sad realities of teen pregnancy might be transformed in a good-hearted world. Ellen Page creates a character to be long cherished, a smart, articulate, 16-year-old who keeps a brave front and yet deeply feels what she's going through.
Juno's dialog is so nimble and funny that some said no real person thinks that fast and talks that well. Real people may not. Juno does. The original screenplay by Diablo Cody is pitch-perfect comedy writing, assuming the audience is as intelligent as Juno. Have you noticed how many stupid people are presented as normal, especially in mainstream comedies? I was surprised how much I laughed during "Juno," and then surprised how much I cared, especially during a luminous scene when the woman who will adopt her baby (Jennifer Garner) solemnly places her hand on Juno's pregnant belly and the two exchange a look so beautiful that if I'd known it was coming I don't know if I could have looked.