Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Juno + Cloverfield

Two absolutely excellent films this weekend. Juno is easily the better of the pair, despite the lack of comparability (it's a quirky teen-pregnancy comedy, whereas Cloverfield is pretty much the lovechild of the Blair Witch and Godzilla). It takes an unremarkable setup ('teenage girl gets pregnant, goes for adoption instead of abortion' is pretty much it), and makes it shine. This is largely down to the characters - Juno's father and stepmother, her best friend and especially the baby's father (a wonderfully understated turn from Michael Cera) are all wonderfully, lovably quirky without a hint of pretension. The real sell, though, is Juno herself. The thing about creating a self-possessed, down-to-earth 16 year old who isn't going to let misfortune get the best of her is that it's bloody hard to actually make her likable. Ellen Page pulls it off with style.

There's much more I could say, about the quickfire, occasionally bizarre dialogue (I'm dying to know if 'honest to blog' is a real expression somewhere, or just a masterpiece of invention), the way it embarrasses you slightly by playing with your expectations about the adoptive parents, the brilliant, touching soundtrack ... but I think you get the gist. Just go see it.


Cloverfield kind of got lost there. It's not brilliant in the same, slightly transcendent way, of course. But it is excellent fun and consistently entertaining. Also worth a punt.


Rob H said...

Yeah...... Ellen Page is hot.

Rob H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob H said...

In a change to my earlier post, I'd like to say she's actually more 'cute' than 'hot'. Still, I'll be watching this next week (for free, sucker) so I'll see if it lives up to its rep.