December 3, 2007

December 3, 2007

Juno- one of my favorite movies of the year
I have not been to a movie recently that immediately when it ended I wanted to see again because I missed too many lines laughing. I was pretty desperate to like this film and I am usually diappointed, but not this time. Make no mistake - this film is one of the best and freshest movies I've seen this year.

The film is about Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) who finds herself pregnant after an afterschool experiment with fellow outcast Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). In a star making performance Ellen Page, best known for a role in X-Men 3, shines as the quirky, smart girl who is caught up in every 16 year old girl's potential nightmare.

I really can't do justice by quoting any of the one-liners here but what makes this film so different is first, that it's about a girl, and second that it doesn't judge her for being pregnant. Yeah, it sucks and she knows it, but the film doesn't send her off to the school for pregnant girls or have her parents go crazy, it has them all deal with the issue. When she tells her father and step mom about the pregnancy her father says "I didn't think your were the kind of girl who would get pregnant" and she responds, "Dad, I don't know what kind of girl I am." Awesome.

Unlike in Knocked Up, the other pregnancy movie which is basically from the sperm's perspective, Juno does actually deal with abortion. As Juno looks at the ads in the phone book she calls the Women Now clinic "to procure a hasty abortion" because they "help women now."

She does back out out of the abortion and she and her best friend Leah decide to find a couple to adopt the baby from ads in the Pennysaver. They sit on a bench drinking huge blue slurpees looking at the pictures in the Pennysaver of couple looking for a baby.

I also loved how her stepmom, played by Allison Janney, goes with her to her sonogram and when the technician judges Juno, Janney just shuts her down and stands up for Juno.

I can't wait to see it again.

Here are a couple of stories about the film. The first on Ellen Page and the second on Diablo Cody. How refreshing to read film stories that feature female players.
Grounded in Indie Angst, Ellen Takes a Mainstream Comic Leap in Juno (LA Times)

The freshness and frankness of Diablo Cody continues to stun me. As a newcomer in Hollywood she quickly realized that women are treated like crap, and she is unafraid to point that out. I think that Juno is totally original she has become a flavor of the month because she is such an anomoly as a female screenwriter, but also for the fact that she used to be a stripper which every single article mentions.

Some quotes from the NY Times profile:

As with her history as a do-me feminist, she makes no apologies for what she said. “I actually think everything is prostitution. We’re kind of constantly bartering with our dignity in life,” she wrote in an e-mail message after the lunch, adding that she always thought it was hilarious when strippers would draw the line at certain activities. “Same goes for people’s ideas, talents, emotions, etc. There’s a price on everything.”
She said she would like to direct at some point, partly because she loathes the way women are portrayed in most contemporary films.
“The attitude toward women in this industry is nauseating,” she said. “There are all sorts of porcine executives who are uncomfortable with a woman doing anything subversive. They want the movie about the beautiful girl who trip and falls, the adorable klutz.”
Off the Stripper Pole and Into the Movies (NY Times)

Visibility Matters
The women over at After Ellen have taken a page out of the Speechless campaign and created their own set of videos reminding the writers and Hollywood in general how few queer women there are on TV.
Visibility Matters

European Film Awards
The 20th annual European Film Awards were handed out this weekend. The abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won for best picture and Helen Mirren won for The Queen (hasn't she gotten enough awards already for this?)

Other awards given out this weekend International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam include: Tamar Varom's To See If I'm Smiling, about women in the Israeli army, which won both the Silver Wolf competition and the festival's audience award; and Elizabeth Rocha Salgado Senses, Doors of the Soul won the won the Stimuleringsfonds Documentary Award 2007 for her film about obsessions. (Indiewire)

Lifetime Film Winners
Liliana Greenfield-Sanders of New York and Jessica Marie Sutherland of Berea,Ohio, have been named the inaugural winners of the Lifetime Movie Network Student Filmmaker Competition. The pair will be honored Tuesday in Los Angeles at the 2007 Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast,hosted by Lifetime Networks and The Hollywood Reporter. Greenfield-Sanders’ first-place film,“Anna,”will premiere Dec. 11 on Lifetime Movie Network and also will be webcast on (Hollywood Reporter)

Eva Green plays the witch queen in The Golden Compass opening Friday.
All About Eva (The Guardian)

Olivia Williams had a Hollywood moment a decade ago- remember her in Rushmore? She's much happier on the stage in London.
No Regrets

Oscar winner Jessica Yu has a new film out - The Protagonist.
Jessica Yu's Protagonist Examines Extreme Obsession

Tube Tonight
The Closer offers a two hour episode where Brenda goes to Atlanta for the holidays. Anytime Kyra Sedgwick is on I am psyched. (8pm, TNT)

Saving Grace is back with four new episodes. (10pm, TNT)