Juno (2007)

This movie covers a sensitive topic, it is a little rough around the edges, and oh so quirky, but despite this it comes across as a good film all the same.

The cast is led by a strong performance by Ellen Page as a forthright and unique 16 year old named Juno Macguff. Quickly she learns that she is now pregnant and she must figure out how to deal with the situation while also facing her friends and family. Finally, she realizes she doesn’t want an abortion and Juno becomes invested in finding foster parents for the baby inside of her. All the while she is ostracized at school and her relationship with the father Beaker changes. In a moment of providence, Juno seemingly comes across the perfect parents in a Penny Saver and when she meets them they appear to be a perfect fit. They have a perfect marriage, beautiful home, and are unable to have kids. There might be something too perfect here, but Juno pushes forward just relieved to find someone who can take her baby. She keeps them up to date on her condition and forms a bond with the husband (Jason Bateman) who also enjoys rock music and horror movies. However, when the husband gets cold feet which leads to divorce, Juno’s situation is thrown into jeopardy. She is still willing to go through with it if the wife (Jennifer Garner) is prepared still. The day of the pregnancy comes and Juno gives birth. The foster mother gets her child and Juno is able to go back to being a teenager, playing guitar, and having high school romances.

There is not a single throw away character in this film, everyone has some peculiarity that makes them tick. The perpetual group of runners, the happily innocent soundtrack, and the script create a heartfelt coming of age dramedy that succeeds beyond any doubt.

4.5/5 Stars

Inception (2010)

Starring Leonardo Dicapprio, Joseph Gordon-Levit, Tom Hardy, and Ellen Page with direction by Christopher Nolan, the film follows the elaborate plot to plant an idea in someone’s mind. Dom Cobb is skilled at entering into peoples’ minds in order to steal ideas. However, in order to get back to a normal life now he must plant something instead. He gathers a team to help him enter the dreams successfully. However  they are not just going one level down but in fact several tiers into the mind. This will make  each successive perception more unstable and perilous. The team enters the first dream fine but soon they realize that their influential subject has built up defenses in his dreams. Furthermore, if they die the dream will not simply end but they will all be trapped in limbo. With those problems they enter the second tier and then the third and so on. Ultimately, Cobb must face one of his own realities or else all is lost. This film is so intriguing because it is different and in many ways it blows your mind (including the ambiguous ending).

5/5 Stars