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'Juno'

Ellen Page (left) and Olivia Thirlby in Juno Doane Gregory/Fox Searchlight Pictures hide caption

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Doane Gregory/Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Director: Jason Reitman
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

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As played by the fabulously watchable Ellen Page, Juno McGuff is a sharp-tongued, self-possessed 16-year-old who's not about to let an unexpected pregnancy get in the way of her life — or her quirky sense of humor.

Deciding to put the baby up for adoption, she finds prospective parents through the PennySaver, and heads off to sign contracts with barely a backward glance at her astonished folks (Alison Janney and J.K. Simmons, both wonderful).

If Juno's not quite as worldly as she thinks she is, she's still a helluva lot more so than her boyfriend (Michael Cera) or her baby's adoptive dad (Jason Bateman), who are, respectively, just leaving adolescence and clinging to its memory.

Screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman make Juno the marvelously un-still center of a wistfully acerbic comedy that qualifies as a feminized version of Knocked Up — and one that's not afraid of raising hackles in pursuit of laughs. What's the point of having hackles, after all, if they never get elevated? (Recommended)