Sunday, January 13, 2008


We went to see "Juno" yesterday at the 4:45 matinee. The theater was packed. This is several weeks after the movie opened, but its still got a lot of buzz, apparently.

No spoilers ahead. I highly recommend this movie. I'm sure I'll pick up the DVD when it comes out. The writing was definitely fun with lots of quirky language.

There were things I loved about this movie. Juno's Dad was a working class nice guy. When have we ever seen that in a movie? Juno's stepmother was a caring, feisty woman able to handle just about any shit that came her way. The family dynamics were simply fantastic in this movie. You had people who were bewildered and accepting of all the crazy things life throws at them who unfailingly link their arms together and plow on through. This movie does, in a matter of fact way, what so many movies (think "Places in the Heart", "Norma Rae"), do overtly: shows good people doing good things in difficult and confusing times.

I loved how the adoptive parents were made to appear like space aliens in their three-car McMansion with their precious tea obsessions. And yet these people had a chance to shine in ways that made them human, and showed how even their "normal" life presented confusing, frustrating challenges.

There were a couple moments in which the movie made references that it was supposed to be set in Minnesota, which were quite jarring. I know people think Vancouver can represent any old place, but those trees and those plants simply do not grow in this part of the world. The "location" dialogue could have been left out without damaging the movie in any way, and I wish they had done so. The movie had an "every place" quality that did not need to be defined further.


Daisy said...

In the original HALLOWEEN, John Carpenter had to film it in California on the cheap, so they used the same autumn leaves over and over, picked up in garbage bags and re-used from shot to shot. (It had to look like Halloween!)

So, you get all these brown leaves blowing all over the screen, but no trees that they would be falling from, in California!

(I always notice weird stuff like that, no matter where the movies are set.)

Ravenmn said...

What a great story. I hadn't heard that one before.

My parents were geographers, so these things always got pointed out to me. I have developed a pretty good ability to look at a North American landscape and predict what state the movie was filmed in. A big giveaway is the color of the soil and the plants and trees shown.

Michigan, my home state, is almost immediately recognized because of the way the height and the grouping of trees.

The highway shot in Juno was what proved it to me. The soil should be a deep dark brown, almost black. The trees would not be close to the road, but in windrows to protect the topsoil from flying away in the wind. Minnesotans started planting these windbreaks in the early 1970s, after the lumber companies stripped all the good timber and left huge treeless expanses. Our topsoil began blowing off toward Wisconsin and the Great Lakes. These days, there are long rows of tall trees outlining farm fields.