Variety has issued its annual Women's Impact Report, highlighting women who have made an impression at all levels of entertainment. Just like last year, the list includes executive powerhouses, household-name performers, and lesser-known talents. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be spotlighting some of the women whom I find particularly noteworthy. Today's pick: the screenwriter and the star of Juno, Diablo Cody and Ellen Page.
Variety has a whole category devoted to Diablo Cody and Ellen Page, titled "The Muse and the Messenger." I had no way of knowing back in December when I first saw Juno that it would explode on the movie scene as much as it did. It even went on to earn Oscar nods as one of the few heartwarming Oscar films, and one of the even fewer female-centric Oscar films.
We can thank screenwriter Diablo Cody for dreaming up the sweet script, but it was the combination of that and a smart, sassy, lovable lead character that so endeared this film to many people. For more on these two ladies, read more.
The Variety profile goes into the backlash that followed Juno's popularity, especially toward Cody:
The lion's share of scorn was aimed squarely at Cody, whose oft-repeated backstory, distinctive colloquialisms and largely thesis-less Entertainment Weekly columns made her a conspicuous target for comment-board assassins. For the seemingly unpardonable sin of writing a distinctive, successful comedy on her first attempt (and collecting Oscar, BAFTA, Indie Spirit and WGA statuettes for her trouble), Cody has inspired a budding cottage industry of parodies.
I tend to think that the haters who get personal with their attacks — beyond just disliking the movie, which is all a matter of taste — are perhaps a little jealous. The awesome thing is that it's not getting Cody down, not even a little: "Tenacity is as important as talent," Cody says. "And criticism is as useful as praise. I eat it like fuel. I'm the little engine that runs on hate. My productivity spikes when I've got something to prove, and it seems like I always do."