Tag Archives: Allison Janney

Proposition 8: The Musical

Funny or Die is hit or miss but this one is a hit, sho nuff! My only real complaint is that it’s too short. Give us a couple more numbers, guys!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Review Redux: Juno Opens Today

The following is an excerpt of, update to and further thoughts on, a review that originally ran on September 13th, as part of our Toronto International Film Festival coverage. Needless to say, since I wrote that review fresh off the film’s bow in Telluride, Fox Searchlight’s Juno Juggernaut’s been going full steam and I fully expect it to have a smash 5 day opening. I’ve since seen it a second time (and soon will a third, I am sure) and every person I mention the film to, and I mean every one, is looking forward to seeing it, ages 16-60. At AFI a table of 3 male film writers who were probably pushing 200 years old combined were all gushing about it. A typical “teen” film, this is not. That’s not to say it’s not appropriate for teens, it most certainly is, but it’s far more than that.
From my original review:
While the tendency might be to lump Juno, the sophomore feature from director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) and first-time writer Diablo Cody into the group (new genre?) of quirky comedies, a la I *Heart* Huckabees, Napoleon Dynamite and Rushmore, don’t. The thing is, while it contains elements of those oddball-laden films, Juno is its own animal in that it’s smart, funny and above all, real. The film should mark the coming out of several major talents, including writer Cody and Juno herself, Ellen Page. While I won’t shoot myself if Cody doesn’t get an Oscar nomination, I will be gobsmacked. While we’re at it, how about one for Page, too?
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The New York Times’ A.O. Scott writes that Juno “respects the idiosyncrasies of its characters rather than exaggerating them or holding them up for ridicule. And like Juno herself, the film outgrows its own mannerisms and defenses, evolving from a coy, knowing farce into a heartfelt, serious comedy.” That hits the nail on the head just about as well as any other review out there and relates to something I wrote in my original piece. In short, there are teenagers this smart and smart-mouthed, there are parents as cool and understanding, eventually, as Juno’s dad and stepmom and there are indeed teenage pregnancies that don’t end in utter disaster. That said, don’t think this film shies away from portraying that everything is not hunky dory in pregnant Juno land. Juno describes herself as a “cautionary whale” and while it’s a clever line, it also speaks to the point behind the laughs. Being pregnant at 16 is no joke and as Scott remarks in his review “Kids, please! Heed the cautionary whale. But in the meantime, have a good time at Juno. Bring your parents, too.”
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Sarasota-Parties And An Epic MC Battle

My first night at the Sarasota Film Festival was the World Cinema Celebration featuring an award for Werner Herzog. (I do understand that there’s a lot of Werner in my first few posts from Sarasota but what can I say? It was “Werner Day” when I got there!) Among the many things that this festival does very well is organize a party. Wednesday night there were 1,400 people in a block-long stretch of downtown Sarasota clamoring for any one of the dozens of free gourmet food samples and rivers of hooch and the only time I had to wait more than a minute or 2 at a food station was for seared tuna. Well, wouldn’t you?
The entertainment was a kick-ass Latin music band and the locals sure got down to it, boogieing the night away. There were certainly some ringers among the crowd (students and teachers from a local dance studio, methinks) and here are three of them. See, I told you it was fun!
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