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Best Picture Breakdown: Juno

Just a few more days before the 2008 Oscars air on Sunday night! I've been breaking down the five contenders for Best Picture this week, giving you the scoop on why each film could win and why it might not stand a chance. Having examined There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton and Atonement, today's nominee is Juno.

This charming, disarming "little" movie climbed all the way up to take a place among big Best Picture nominees like No Country for Old Men and Atonement. Who's "little" now, punk, huh? Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking) directs a talented cast in this tale of one quirky teenage girl's pregnancy and the young couple poised to adopt her baby. Screenwriter Diablo Cody's sharp dialogue and well-crafted story combined with great direction, quality performances and a fun soundtrack make for a highly endearing film. To see how I think this movie might fare in the Best Picture race,


Why It Might Win

  • Well, frankly, it's freaking adorable. Despite the growing number of Juno haters out there providing an intense backlash, there are plenty of us Juno backers who say this film is incredibly enjoyable. It's sweet, it's funny, it reminds us of a more innocent time. And we like that. Of all the movies in this category, Juno is the only feel-good one. Unlike the creepy, dark feeling left in your stomach after No Country for Old Men or the heaving sobs induced by Atonement, Juno might elicit a happy tear or two, but then you can just go out for cheeseburgers and get on with life. It's nice.
  • Similarly, it's possible the Academy won't want to reward a darker movie because, as the Best Picture winner is sometimes considered a representation of our life and times, it may be too bleak a message to give the award to, say, There Will Be Blood. It would be joyful and satisfying to hand the award to something as affirming as Juno.
  • Juno's win might be a matter of simple math. As New York Magazine writer David Edelstein points out, it could happen that "No Country and There Will Be Blood split the nihilist-horror vote and little old edgy feel-good smash hit Juno sneaks in."

Why It Might Not Win

  • It's a known fact that comedies rarely win out over dramas at the Oscars. This will probably be one of those "it's nice just to be nominated" situations.
  • As I mentioned above, there has been an incredible backlash to Juno's popularity. The Academy might be having second thoughts about this one.
  • Juno could garner awards in other categories — most likely a win for Diablo Cody — thus fulfilling the Academy's urge to honor the film.
  • It might actually still be too little. Universal themes of motherhood and teenage angst aside, Juno may be slightly too homespun and humble to take home the grandest prize of the night.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Join The Conversation
tundrababe tundrababe 9 years
I thought the movie was good, but I think the moment "honest to blog" was uttered, it was disqualified from winning any accolades.
dyu dyu 9 years
anyone who questioned why juno was nominated, you are an idiot. juno is the best movie that ive seen in such a long time. it is witty, extremely funny, and is filled with so much emotion, especially towards the end where she cries after giving up her baby. though im not sure if juno will win in this category, i think it should 100%, especially because of ellen page's performance. it wasnt just acting, her true personality came out and made the movie SO believable.
haylscomet23 haylscomet23 9 years
if anyone is curious as to why people hate this movie, i think you should read this: sums it up pretty nicely.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 9 years
I totally think this movie is Best Picture-worthy. It's full of subject matter that almost everyone can relate to on some level. Just about all of us have been to high school, known someone who got pregnant, known people who want to adopt, and many of us know couples who just aren't right for each other. The character, Juno, is innocent and worldly all in one package. I'd say that's not an easy combination to portray on film.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I love this movie and even though I know it won't win I'm glad they nominated it. I think it's more than just the catchy dialogue and it's not just another teen movie. It has actually become one of my favorite movies that I think has that quality that allows you to watch it over and over and honeslty enjoy it every single time. Maybe that's not what winnignthe best picture award is about but maybe it should be
SugarCat SugarCat 9 years
I'm seeing it this weekend and after that the only picture I haven't seen will be Atonement. I agree though, a little too cutesy compared with the likes of TWBB & NCFOM.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
It is a great little movie, and it deserves to be nominated for Best Picture, but probably not to win, especially against Atonement and There Will Be Blood. But hopefully it'll win for its great soundtrack :)
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i just watched this. it is so sweet and i love the music. apparently it was filmed where i live (vancouver). very cool.
amers230 amers230 9 years
i really enjoyed this movie but no way is it oscar worthy. frankly, i'm shocked it was even nominated, although i can see diablo cody winning for screenwriting. all in all it was a movie that almost lived up to the incredible hype surrounding it. i'd be shocked if it won.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
It was a cute movie but overrated. Maybe because it was advertised soooooo much and I thought it was going to be amazing. I liked the script but the ending seemed too easy.
graylen graylen 9 years
It's definitely worth seeing. Even my boyfriend loved it. He was happy I dragged him to see it for V-day, and that's saying something! It's quick-witted, well acted, and a good one-time see. Made me laugh (a lot!) and even cry (the boyfriend too!) Now, if Diablo Cody came out with another movie with the same pop dialogue... I'd understand the backlash.
fashion4ward fashion4ward 9 years
Juno was my 2nd favorite movie this year, after Across the Universe!
angelinemarie angelinemarie 9 years
you're a part-time lover and a full-time friend
nomerz nomerz 9 years
I'd be shocked if this movie won ... it's really good but not Best Picture worthy.
kitkatkay_o8 kitkatkay_o8 9 years
i want to see this film.. it must be pretty oscar worthy is they are nominating it...
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Definitely should win for original screen play. Juno is a great movie, but I doubt it will take the top honors.
jasmint jasmint 9 years
I know a lot of people think this movie is overrated. That might be the case, but I still think it's a great flick. Most/all popular things are overrated. Doubtful it'll win best picture, or anything other than best screenplay, but I'll still be cheering for it.
laneylaney laneylaney 9 years
i thought it was a great film with a cute script, but... not Oscar worthy.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
why is this movie even nominated? it's like giving an oscar to a confessions of a teenage drama queen.
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