February 26, 2008

Capsule review of 'Juno'


Much praised movie about a pregnant 16yo who arranges to give her baby up for adoption.

- Well shot.
- Anti abortion demonstrator was a mockable caricature and that's a cop-out and cheap. Those who think that the feelings of the mother are more important than the life of the baby are immature at a deep level and that is the premise of the movie. It's like prioritising the feelings of the guards in an extermination camp.
- Jason Bateman husband character was badly written and pathetic.
- Letter device (withholding the text till the end) is a cliche and saves the trouble of tight plotting.
- Both the boy and the girl leads become annoying quickly.

The movie would have been better either darker and deeper or more consistently fluffy.

The happy ending of a mother and father giving away their baby then making music on his stoop is sick, the more so because the gift is made to a single woman.

A feelgood movie for children of an infantile culture.

UPDATE: A friend replies -
ah yes, the Adams moral high ground, in art as in life. the pro-life argument will not be advanced by the likes of you, e.g. likening conflicted young single mothers--who are on the cusp of choosing life--to Nazi death camp guards; but rather by the likes of arguments made in Juno that eschew your brand of absolutism for a more effective and subtle kind of persuasion. if the point is to move the agenda forward and to save more lives, then Juno helps. your point, however, seems to be that how they're saved is as important as whether they're saved--that a rigorous adherence to some ontology about unborn life is more important that saving actual lives. in this case, pro-life Americans should vote for Huckabee because he's more consistently and convincingly pro-life despite the fact his candidacy would fail and thereby facilitate the pro-choice agenda. this, as well as your critique, is short-sighted and counter productive.
and I reply back -
In real life the thing that matters is the baby, not because it has finger-nails but because humans have duties founded on more general principles.

In the days when Life demonstrators were seen as religious idiots (as in Juno) they were the moral grown-ups despised by the moral retards who see themselves as sophisticated, knowing and humane.

Abortion is a real holocaust but on a bigger scale with even more vulnerable victims, but my comment as written referred to the movie's priorities. I myself was willing to go along with an abortion and I was a sophisticated moral retard, but not a sadistic guard.

Otherwise you project standard liberal arguments about the motivation of your opponents, arguments which exist to validate liberal psychology rather than discuss ideas.