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Juno - Preview

Juno

Preview by Jack Foley

ONE of the highlights of the London Film Festival (and certainly one of my favourite films of the year so far) is Juno, the second film from Thank You For Smoking director Jason Reitman.

The comedy-drama follows the fortunes of Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page of Hard Candy fame), a bright teenager with a fine line in sardonic wit, who has the misfortune to find herself pregnant after the first and only time she has sex with her classmate Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera, of Superbad fame).

With the aid of her best friend and the small ads she finds her unborn child a set of ‘perfect’ parents: an affluent suburban couple, Mark and Vanessa (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), longing to adopt.

However, things aren’t quite as straightforward as they seem, so it’s fortunate that Juno has the support of her dad and stepmom (JK Simmons and Allison Janney), as she faces some tough decisions, flirting with adulthood and figuring out where she fits.

Sandra Hebron, artistic director of the London Film Festival, describes Juno as “a pitch-perfect film that’s without doubt one of the most enjoyable of the year” – and she’s right!

Like this summer’s similarly hilarious Knocked Up, Juno capably mixes laugh-out loud humour (although not of the gross-out varity) with heartfelt sentiment and a cluser of truly memorable peformances.

Page and Cera are clearly two young stars of the future, Garner is better than she’s ever been in movies, and Bateman continues to buld on the good work he’s already done in films like The Kingdom. JK Simmons and Allison Janney also make a delicious couple of parents, who merely add to the overall quality of the piece.

Hebron concludes her preview of the film by writing: “Although the film is hilarious, it never feels forced – like Juno herself, it doesn’t need to try too hard – and beneath its whip smart surface (complete with gorgeous lo-fi tunes) lies a heartwarming depth.”

It’s an opinion worth noting, for Juno looks set to become one of the films of next year, when it’s finally released in UK cinemas on February 1, 2008.