Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm the only person who hates Juno

I'm on my annual kick to see as many Oscar films as possible. Right now, best picture has to be There Will Be Blood, followed closely by No Country for Old Men. Two exceptional films. However, I've been left wondering how the hell a film like Juno made it into nominations for best film.

I felt very hard done by the press for this film. I was told it would be funny and edgy, but it fell far short of both hurdles. In reality, the film was pointless. I've got a few issues with the film. First, the central protagonist -- a teenager who is pregnant. That happens to thousands of girls every year, so why is this story being championed in such a way? If this film was about a black girl who lived in inner-city Chicago or the backwaters of Louisiana, would anyone give a shit? Despite all of Juno's "edginess", she's mainstream enough to appeal to our whitewashed culture.

Second, the moral. Actually, there was no moral. This film worked desperately hard appeal to all audiences that it had no aim. What was being said, really? Let's say it was trying to show that adoption was a viable option rather than teenage motherhood or abortion. This film, however, unintentionally and ironically makes adoption and abortion two sides of the same coin. At one point, she says, "If I could just have the thing and give it to you now, I totally would". She wants a closed adoption (no contact with the child). She wants rid of the baby and not have to think about it again. The only difference between her adoption and abortion is when she is able to be rid of it.

Third, the plot. To me, having the baby seems like a blip on her calendar, as after she delivers, she has a little cry and then gets on with her life. Actually, her pregnancy shouldn't even be seen as blip, as it doesn't seem to affect her. Did her grades fall because of it? Did she lose friends cos she coudn't hang out anymore? Wait, she does gain weight... Juno encounters very few hurdles in her pregnancy -- completely unrealistic of any type of pregnancy I've ever noticed, let alone teenage pregnancy. And the obstacles she does actually encounter are so ridiculous that they are devoid of meaning. Does love her baby daddy? Are her baby's adopted parents going to stay together? This character is going through a life-changing event and these are the things that tax her?

I find it appalling that such a meagre film could be considered one of the best of the year; the strength of the other films, however, should put this little thing out of serious contention. But the people who vote on Oscars seem to have liking for PC films with "messages". Shee-it, if Crash can win best film over one of the greatest love stories ever told, Brokeback Mountain, then anything is possible for Juno.


Anonymous mija said...

I told you it sucked.

Monday, 18 February 2008 at 03:14:00 GMT  
Blogger atw said...

sheesh, thanx for ruining it for me. no, really, this sounds like a very reasonable and intelligent discussion. i have it on my dvd queue b/c i don't like paying $10 for a film that doesn't have like cool visuals. (in other words, i pay $ to see the golden compass even though the script sucked b/c the visuals were freakin awesome.) but hmm. it does seem that people are making too big of a deal about this film...i could see it getting independent spirit awards and such, but i don't think this sort should be oscar material...i know that sounds judgmental when i haven't seen it, but that's how i feel about this sort of low budget white (sorry) comedy that everyone calls 'quirky' and 'off-kilter' and the like. but then again, mebbe i'll like it b/c yoo didn't...i mean, i thought crash was amazing. so anyway. (but really, don't worry--it won't win. this was one of those 'nods' that is supposed to be the final honor...we're nominated? cool, we'll take it. i mean, consider lil miss sunshine last year. it did in fact win best original screenplay (and i think it did deserve that), but there's no way it was going to win best picture. but then again, i thought babel was robbed. but the then again, i seem to be only one of the two normal peeps who thought it was awesome...almost everyone i know hated it. but hey, i understood all de languages. but then maybe i liked it for different reasons? i dunno. i thought it was a moving picture of why the life of a white person is worth more than the lives of brown people. but hey. i sound bitter, do i not? i'm not. i'm not bitter! i love white people. i know you do, too. mwah. (6am insanity from pulling an all-nighter)

Monday, 18 February 2008 at 10:57:00 GMT  

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