During its early moments, Jason Reitman’s 2007 feature threatens to choke on its quotation-marks catchphrases. But as we get to know the family and friends of our pregnant 16-year-old heroine (Ellen Page), the movie calms down and finds its center—no, its heart. Indeed, once it works its way through the first-timer’s lookatme! snark, Juno gradually evolves into a thing of beauty and grace. By the end it’s unexpectedly moving without ever once trolling for crocodile tears, and full of uniformly astounding performances (from J.K. Simmons, especially, as Juno’s supportive dad). Diablo Cody won the Oscar for her debut script. (R) ROBERT WILONSKY

March 20-26, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2009

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow