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Friday, January 04, 2008

You Know


Happy Friday from the Grand Canyon State. I'm in here in Arizona with my family for a 'better late than never' holiday visit. I arrived just in time - New York is having a bout of icy weather that would not speed my recovery.

Last week, still very ill, I crossed the street to see 'Juno,' an unusually witty and sensitive tale of a pregnant high school girl who decides to give up her baby for adoption to a married couple she meets through a classified ad. Sharp dialogue and unforgettable characters make this film very compelling.

Behold, the 5 Parameters of Criticism

1. Four Words That Encapsule: 'Grown-up Adolescents, Adolescent Grown-Ups'

2. Haiku (5/7/5):
"Pregnant. Oops. Must find
good adoptive parents; then
know them, learn, grow, change.'

3. Oblique Comments: It's a great ensemble cast bu the stand-out is heretofore unknown Ellen Page (pictured above) in the starring role, showing varying combinations of wit, vulnerability, uncertainty, and resolution. There are several TV actors giving indie-film quality performances. Jason Bateman shows depth playing, against type, a complex, darker role. Allison Janney and JK Simmons are interesting as the pregnant girl's diffident father and step-mother. Playing the baby's natural father is Michael Cera (pictured above), who was memorable on 'Arrested Development' for his pitch-perfect comic turn as a sweet, befuddled teen with a crush on his cousin; Cera continues to stretch his range with depth and nuance.

4. Insight: The film wisely chooses to be a character study with a delicious scripts; it sidesteps any moral or political issues and dispenses and is remarkably devoid of clich├ęs. The best stories are personal and unique.

5. Link:
Metacritic review summary. Average of 81, i.e., great reviews. I concur. Expect Oscar nominations for screenplay, Ellen Page as Best Actress, and possibly Best Picture and Best Director.


and here's the trailer:


Cartoon du Jour:

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