Another great film that exemplifies what International Women’s Month is all about is this 2007 comedy-drama film about teenage pregnancy.
Juno is directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody who based it on many of her own high school experiences. It stars Ellen Page who played the title role. The film was shot only from February to March 2007, but has been very well received by both audience and critics.
Juno has multi-layered themes wrapped in light comedy. It is like eating a waffle with a cheesy hotdog filling – it is fluffy and sweet outside, but flavory and tasteful inside. Accordingly, Juno crosses boundaries with several themes. It depicts pro-life because instead of aborting her child, Juno finds suitable parents for the baby. It can also be about pro-choice for Juno, at her age of sixteen, decides for herself despite conflicting options. And finally, the movie also celebrates the triumph of feminism. A confident and intelligent girl is able to rise up after an unplanned happening. For in real life, it would be hard for a teenager to undergo such ordeal. The shame, the guilt, the responsibility, and the physical stress are just few of the hardships a pregnant teenager must bear. One will really look up to someone who can stand up for herself and for what she chooses. It is good that the movie does not portray a girl who really resorts to abortion, early marriage, or even suicide.
On the other hand, the “idea of hope after an unplanned pregnancy” has a negative effect. In some way, the movie seems to glamorize teenage pregnancy and promote unsafe teenage sex. It partly violates conservative values. Time magazine has even coined the term “Juno Effect” when 17 students under sixteen years old at a particular high school became pregnant in 2008.
Juno is very well accepted by critics. It gathered 93% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The movie ranked 463 in Empire Magazine’s 2008 list of The 5000 Greatest Movies of All Time, and Juno MacGruff landed to 56th on the magazine’s list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. It also appeared on the top ten lists of the best films of 2007 in various magazines, including 1st in Chicago Sun-Times, 4th in New York Post, 6th in USA Today, 7th in Los Angeles Times, and 10th in The New York Times.
The movie also received numerous awards and nominations including the Academy and Golden Globe Awards. It was awarded as best comedy or film by Critic’s Choice Award, Satellite Awards, Rome Film Festival, and The National Movie Awards. Ellen Page’s performance is also highly-praised, making her won several best actress awards.
In the box office, the movie also topped the lists. It was the highest-grossing of the five Best Picture nominees for the 80th Academy Awards. Even the soundtracks for the film were very well received.
Truly, Juno has become a contemporary icon in the movie world.