Tag Archive: juno

Pit PonyEllen Page breaks free from the mainstream with the roles she choses. He role in Juno snagged her the nomination for a best actress Oscar for 2007.

Page has been acting since she was ten. She got her start in the Canadian television drama and movie “Pit Pony”, about the families of coal miners in the early nineteenth century. She told Barbara Walters that it was not her intention to be a big movie star but she happened to be “short have brown hair [she looked] like a poor kid from the turn of the century”.

Page made her American debut when she landed the role of Halley in the dark film, Hard Candy. The story pits a fourteen year old girl against pedophile Jeff played by Patrick Wilson. Page stated in and interview with IGN that fell quickly in love with the script, “I found it just incredibly engrossing and obviously original. And then on top of that to read a role written for a teenage girl with so much passion and intelligence, that was extremely refreshing”.

Hard Candy

Hard Candy had a lot of controversy surrounding it. The film showed the dark side of the Internet, presented Jeff (Wilson) as a somewhat charming predator who endures torture by Halley.

Ellen Page was one of three actresses to play teen Kitty Pryde in the X-Men trilogy. Pryde is a mutant capable of phasing through walls. The actresses playing pride changed for every film first, X1 had Sumela Kay and Katie Stuart was in X2. The role of Kitty was notKitty Pride really substantial to the plot until three. Kitty came close to breaking up the relationship between Rogue and boyfriend Iceman. She also played a pivotal role in protecting Leech from Juggernaut. Page was excited about the project abd described the role for About.com, “Kitty’s involved more and has a bit of a subplot with a certain other mutant and we’ll see. It’s all fun. I get to fight in the end.” There is no word whether Page will reprise this role in X-men Origins: Wolverine. Most likely not considering this film is set before Wolverine connects with the X-men. Kitty was probably still in diapers according to this time line.

Juno garnered Page a lot of media attention. She played the cynical and witty, Juno, a pregnant teen with plans to adopt her baby to yuppie suburbanites. The film won 37 awards including Best Original Screenplay and tallied 21 nominations.

Page has completed two projects since the release of Juno. Page filmed Smart People with actor Dennis Quad about a widowed professor who finds love and gets an unexpected visit from his brother. Smart People will be in theaters in early April. The Snow Angel follows the dramatic life of an unconventional woman, Hagar Shipley. The film is set to be released in May.


Oscar Highlights

The 80th anniversary Academy Awards had a couple surprises on their winner’s list. Diablo CodySmaller pictures like Once and La Vie En Rose astonished audiences with their wins. No Country for Old Men stole the show, deservedly, with four wins.

Once beat out all three nominated songs for Disney’s Enchanted. I would have figured by numbers alone Enchanted would seal the deal. Marketa Irglova was let back on stage by host Jon Stewart after first being cut short. She had some touching words aimed at struggling artists in her acceptance speech, “And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are”.

Juno is an indy script with a low-end Hollywood budget, which makes a huge difference. Diablo Cody, who’s real name is Brook Busey-Hunt, gained a lot of applause for her anticipated win.2008_blanchettk_01.jpg She has led an eventful life going from getting a media studies degree in Iowa, to stripping, to blogging, to screen writing. Cody came out of the woodwork for this film but I anticipate there will be a lot more from her.

There is one person I believe was totally overlooked. Cate Blanchett was completely passed over. I can’t be upset that she lost to Marion Cotillard for best actress. I am still writhing over the fact that she lost the Supporting Actress nomination for I’m Not There. There is no way she should have gone home empty handed!

Though this was no surprise Daniel-Day Lewis took home the Best Actor award. I would have given up on awards shows altogether if that wasn’t the case.

From the clunky hand drawn block lettering, to the Indie soundtrack Juno emulates independennapoleon.jpgt sensation Napoleon Dynamite. This is no accident. Studio execs got their hands on the quirky script and figured they could mirror Napoleon’s success.

The movies follow the plight two lovable geeks, the sharp tongued and pregnant Juno (Ellen Page) and the awkward Napoleon (Jon Heder).

The teens and their eccentric families make everyone else look like the Cleavers. Juno deals with her dog obsessed step mom (Allison Janney). Napoleon almost looks normal compared to his Internet addict brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) and football loving Uncle Rico (Jon Gries).

The similarities stop as soon as the characters open their mouths. Both are riddled with fabulous one-liners but each with their own style. Juno spews complexjuno_soundtrack_covers.jpg, hipster insults that may leave some viewers over age 13 feeling out of the loop.

The tone quickly differentiates the two. Juno is set in a real no win situation. She is an unfit mother who chooses a different option for her baby. Napoleon desperately needs to find friends and a date.

Napoleon Dynamite was a cult sensation. Viewers loved it or hated it with little middle ground. Although Juno is the first in what maybe a long line of copycats, it stands as a worthy successor.

The Peoples’ Oscar Pool

Oscars are the Superbowl of the media crowd. Everyone has their input and picks their teams before the big game. Oscar nominations have been out for nearly a month but I have not been on the ball so here goes.

The Oscars for the most part are stupid; leave it up to other actors to congratulate their buddies on a job well done. There are so many rules and restrictions that a lot of good films cannot even qualify.image3760431.jpg

It is impossible for me to see every movie so I am just judging based on what I have seen and other audience and critic responses for those that I haven’t.

I will go in the order of the official release so here goes:

Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood can attribute all of its success to the buzz around his performance. Sadly, this is the first performance I have taken notice of him though I have seen him in many other roles. Viggo Mortensen comes in second for his role in Eastern Promises.

Actor in a Supporting Role: This vote is based solely on bias. I have not seen a majority of the films in this category except No Country for Old Men. Javier Bardem was fierce as Anton. That character was very intense and made me want to curl up into a ball and lock all my doors.

Actress in a Leading Role: I missed this category entirely. I saw Juno twice and although I love Ellen Page and thought she was stupendous, I don’t think she has a chance of really winning.

0540023100.jpgActress in a Supporting Role: Cate Blanchett, Cate Blanchett, Cate Blanchett! She was really fun and did a great impression (encompassing attitude, sound, and personality) as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There. I think Ruby Dee might win because the Academy often likes to give the nod to people they have missed over the years as a gesture of “well, we owe you one”. Ruby was only in American Gangster for a total of five minutes. I really hope they take that into account. This is a tough category because Saoirse Ronan did well in Atonement. I think the Academy is apprehensive about giving awards to child actors so she will get passed over. But, good luck to her in ten years!

Just a bit of trivia the youngest winning actor was Adrian Brody at age 29 for The Pianist. Keisha Castl-Hughes was the youngest female to be nominated at age 13 for The Whale Rider.

Animated Feature Film: This was not a good year for animated films, which I am generally a big propionate. I would rather see the Oscar go to Persepolis though I have yet to see it than see Ratatouille win. Ratatouille was a cute movie but it really did not have any lasting qualities.

Directing: This is really a toss up between No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. As long as both movie receive a million awards, I will not be disappointed with either choice.

ellen-page.jpgBest Picture: I might as well copy what I said about directing. I can not believe the Micheal Clayton is even in this category. I think my favorite review of that movie is “it is like entering on the third act of a play”. The story started after Clayton was a star lawyer, after he lost his family, after all the big important plot details already happened. It was Erin Brockovich without the tits or the personality.

Writing (Best Original Screenplay aka not a book first): I think this is where Juno could get its recognition. The writing was witty and it is not up against many hard contenders: There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men were both adapted a play and a book respectively.