Juno (2007) Film Review

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Juno (Ellen Page) is sixteen and pregnant. She decides to have the child and adopt it out to couple she finds in the Pennysaver (I’m fairly certain this is like the Trading Post), Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and Mark (Jason Bateman). The film follows Juno, the couple, Juno’s father (JK Simmons) and step-mother (Allison Janney) and the father of the child, Paul (Michael Cera) through the pregnancy.

Written by Diablo Cody who later went on to write United States of Tara. I know there are people who can’t stand this film – the whole extremely witty banter and constant sarcasm. I love it. I think the cast is marvelous, especially Ellen Page. The writing is marvellous. The only thing I find a little odd is the fact that Vanessa and Mark really seem to have absolutely nothing in common. I get that they kind of have to, given the way the plot unfolds. That and, like in The Easy A, the parents are ridiculously cool, supportive and delightful. But, I love them, and I love the quirky, silly music and the nifty little animations and all of that stuff.

Diablo Cody won an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. Juno was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing (Jason Reitman), Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Page)

Super (2010) MIFF Film Review

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‘Shut up, crime.’ I love it.

I loved the humour and the absurdity of this film. I loved the fact that it had heart but without getting too mushy. Well, perhaps one scene, but even that was so absurd that I was giggling through my tears.

The premise is pretty straightforward. Frank is a cook in a diner whose gorgeous wife, Sarah is recovering from addictions – at least, recovering until Jacques turns up to get her using again before stealing her from Frank. In response, Frank becomes his own super hero, the Crimson Bolt and after reluctantly accepting help from his new sidekick, Boltie he sets out to save his wife.

Perhaps the fact that it is in the Nightmoves program, and perhaps because the MIFF guide refers to grindhouse cinema and Troma, I should have been aware of the severely dark nature of the film. I wasn’t, and the graphic violence surprised me (although not as much as, many years ago, seeing Dusk Til Dawn and not knowing it was a vampire film), but I didn’t mind spending a few minutes during the film with my hands over my eyes. I was very keen to see Super after reading lots of good stuff about it, even when I realised that most of the good stuff I read had been on the Twitterfeeds of Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, and being stars of the film, were probably somewhat biased. What can I say – when you’re in something this good, Tweet away.