The film Juno won a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for new screenwriter Diablo Cody. It is a fast paced, clever and quirky movie from 2007 about teen pregnancy and adoption. It is not, however, a typical adoption story.
Juno (Ellen Page) has one night of introductory sex with her classmate and friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), and as happens far too frequently, their unprotected tryst results in 16-year-old Juno being with child.
Her father Mac (J. K. Simmons) and step-mother Bren (Allison Janney) are the way parents everywhere should be if their precocious teen becomes pregnant: supportive. Juno has decided to have the baby and give it up to a loving home for adoption.
Enter Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and Mark (Jason Bateman) as the couple who are overjoyed to be the recipient of Juno’s baby gift. All of these arrangements are completed in an entertaining way, while traversing the four distinct seasons of a year in Minnesota. We see Juno’s life unfold through this year, from the reveal of her pregnancy to the birth.
This is not your typical A-Z adoption story, and the twists and turns it takes are really entertaining, as life progresses in a somewhat non-linear fashion for Juno. I liked how the film ended, but I can’t tell you why because I don’t want there to be any spoilers for you!
All the characters’ dialogue is very well written, and Juno especially has a mouth on her that Ellen Page delivers with such finesse and unselfconsciousness, no wonder she received an Academy Award nomination that year for Best Actress. The character Juno is a little over the top, but not pretentious like Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Jason Reitman.
This film could be a tearjerker for you. I don’t normally like sappy kinds of films about babies, but certain ones like Juno and Knocked Up, end up being very funny for me as well as making me a little teary eyed.
The film was released in 2007 and is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content and language. There are a few voice over’s in the film, all by Juno, and the uncommon use of this technique fits the story well. The voters in the Academy chose an offbeat comedy to award Best Original Screenplay to in Juno, and this doesn’t often happen. The Academy prefers drama when giving out awards. In this case, I believe it was well deserved.
A note here on my process for selecting the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award winners for the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I looked at the winners in this category chronologically from most recent on back, and as each letter came up, gave it a place in the alphabet for the month of April. This kept out any bias I might have about a particular film, and whether I wanted to watch or write about it. Thanks for reading!