Attend the tale of Juno Todd.
Well, I am back from the almost dead. I think I had a cold. Or perhaps the flu? I choose flu, for the drama. Oy, what a flu I had. I have blown my nose so much that the skin at the tip looks much like Michael Jackson’s must. I could peel it like an orange. Ew.
Over vacation I went to numerous movies and saw buckets of dvds and watched scads of films on tv. But, two movies really left me with definite impressions and strong feelings.
This film is just perfect for Tim Burton. I’m surprised he didn’t make this ages ago. It was filmed all in blue tones, I suppose to show the darkness of revenge or something equally film school-ish, but I think it was just pretty. Johnny Depp is perfect as the demon barber of Fleet Street – menacing and evil but strangely alluring and huggable. You just want to hug the hate right out of him. He sings very well, too. And Helena Bonham Carter is perfect casting. She’s so gothy. She’s Gothique. Gothesque. She has this little reedy singing voice, but it works for a cannibalistic opportunist. The sets are sumptuous and the supporting cast are wonderful foils for the leads. I should have loved this movie. Should have, but for 2 things:
1. All of the wonderful chorus numbers have been cut completely from the score. The whole “Demon barber of Fleet Street!” phrase isn’t even in the film any longer. Boo.
2. The blood. Please stop with the blood. Yes, I know that this is a story about a neck cutting mass murderer, but seriously. When he slices throats blood erupts from these people like they are just bags of liquid – no organs or anything. Bags of blood under intense pressure, so the slightest nick of the barbers knife sends a stream of blood 15 feet across the room. It got so bad that Sabrina and I were laughing after a while.
I’m fairly sure that this movie is in my top ten of 2007. It succeeds in being a feel good flick where so many other well meaning films try and fail (Little Miss Sunshine, I’m looking at you).
The story is a little pedestrian, a little after school special. But. Then it goes to absurd lengths, so beyond what you would normally think that this type of movie should be. And it works at that going so far beyond what you would expect that it becomes a very close depiction of real life. The characters say witty things, just like real people do. Parents aren’t stupid, like in most teenage movies. They know the score. They have been through what you are dealing with (in one way or another), and get it. High school sucks, but it helps to prepare you for what comes next. Friends are a good thing. Unplanned pregnancy is scary, but handleable.
Ellen Paige plays Juno, and she is a delight. She may just be the best actor out there. Watching her is like a masters class in “acting normal”. She’s so good. Plus, she was in X-Men 3, so yay.
If you don’t finish Juno with a smile on your face, there is something wrong with your smiler.