Apparently this little gem of a movie is experiencing a bit of a backlash. Some have even compared this backlash to the irrational Hillary-hatred currently gripping our nation.
Listen to this quote from S.T. VanAirsdale of Vanity Fair:
Frankly, I don’t want to see Juno within a thousand feet of the Kodak Theater. I want her and her twee champions stopped at the metal detector. I want her turned away for being underdressed.
VanAirsdale feels that No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are the “milestone” films of the year and that it will be a terrible travesty if these “graver” films are overlooked thus allowing Juno to squirm tweely into a Best Picture win.
David Edelstein of New York Magazine, goes to bizarre extremes to attack Juno by criticizing both director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody (whose name he snarks on) for having successfully “engineered every response” from the audience, as if that’s not what filmmaking is at its heart.
Blogger Mark Asch, apparently mourning the fate of the more important and manly films on the nominees list, writes:
If There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men split the smart-person vote, and Juno actually wins, I will understand, even better than I do now, how the Unabomber felt in his cabin all those years.
Asch goes on to accuse the academy of nominating Juno because of screenwriter Diablo Cody’s “backstory” as a stripper, as if that makes any sense.
I’ve seen neither No Country For Old Men nor There Will Be Blood. I’m told they’re both excellent. Fine. Good for them. One thing they can not be, however, is “milestone” films. They’re both historical films and while history is both important and darn fascinating, I think it’s also important and darn fascinating to pay attention when a bona fide cultural phenomenon is prancing tweely across your radar. Juno is that dancer. Among the many wonderful things about this movie is the fact that it could not have been made at any other time in history. It is positively fresh on the subject of teen sexuality and reproductive choice and it manages to be hilariously funny and gut-wrenchingly poignant at the same time.
No surprise that its writer, Diablo Cody, is herself a supremely modern phenomenon.
Perhaps VanAirsdale, Asch, and Edelstein hope to nurture the women-optional trend in Hollywood movies. Perhaps they believe that only stories about men killing each other count. For that reason alone, I hope Diablo Cody and her wonderfully modern film kick ass come Oscar time.
As I’ve mentioned before in this space, I don’t usually watch the Oscars because I hate timeless classic evening wear. This year, however, I may just have to tune in to see if, after the boring parade of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant wannabes timelessly glide their boring way across the red carpet, Juno does slip tweely into a Best Picture Win. I will count such an event as a much-needed victory for modernism.