Thursday, January 3, 2008

Watched Lately: Juno

  • On New Year's Day, my beautiful wife and I went to the movie theater which has become a bit of a tradition for us. This has nothing to do with the festive nature of the mall movieplex. It's just that all the good movies come out this time of year and holidays offer lots of opportunities to catch a matinee.

  • For those of you who don't read blog headers, the movie we saw was Juno. Yes, everything you've heard about it is probably true. The language tries to be a little more clever that it actually is and the emotions are a little too forced. But for all that, the movie still works. I liked the cleverness and I liked the emotional upheaval these characters went through. A movie doesn't have to be perfect to be good. This was not a perfect movie, but don't mistake it for a bad one.

  • The only thing I had a hard time with was the soundtrack music. Not that it was bad, though it wasn't to my taste. Music played a big role in the plot of the film. Juno goes to great lengths to express her love for the hard rock of the 1970s, but the soundtrack is entirely composed of confectionary folk tracks. It certainly sets a folkish tone for the film, but it was so at odds with the girl/woman she was portraying.

  • The end of the film made me think, though. The last shot is of Juno and the boy boy who knocked her up (I'm not checking IMDB for a name) singing one of these tunes together. Is that the kind of music he likes and she's forcing herself to sing it out of love for him? Was there a fundamental change in her that drove the punk out of her and turned her into a folk music lover? Is there any subtext at all? I was confused, as you might understand from this, and they don't give an answer. I'm going to go with there was a reason and I just don't see it rather than they just used the music they had. The movie at least deserves the benefit of the doubt.


  1. Most of the music is by Kimya Dawson, a very odd "anti-folk" singer from Seattle ... I like her stuff, and I thought it worked well here, not as the music of Juno or her boyfriend or her paramour, but just as a tone-setter for the overall movie

  2. Thanks, RF, for the musical insight. It certainly did an excellent job of setting the tone.