Review: `Juno’ a Small Comic Charmer

January 5, 2008 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

ennifer Garner, left, Jason Bateman, center, and Ellen Page

ennifer Garner, left, Jason Bateman, center, and Ellen Page

Juno MacGuff is the kind of teenager we all wish we could have been: quick-witted, frighteningly intelligent beyond her years and comfortable enough in her own skin to resist those incessant high-school pressures to conform, even as her body expands with an unplanned pregnancy.

And “Juno” is the kind of movie all indie comedies wish they could be: light and lovable, perhaps a bit too pleased with the cleverness of its dialogue, but a small charmer nonetheless.

It’s also sure to make a star of the appealing Ellen Page, who had already proven she could be a tiny force of nature in the tense but little-seen “Hard Candy.” Page absolutely shines in this second feature from director Jason Reitman, who once again shows a deft touch with tone following his 2006 debut, “Thank You for Smoking.” There’s a lovely openness to her face, an accessibility to her demeanor, even when she’s being smart-alecky and cynical.

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