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Juno, Essential Revision Notes

Juno dir. by Jason Reitman

Context

Juno is a 2007 American comedy-drama independent film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Ellen Page stars as the title character, an independent-minded teenager confronting an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent events that ensure she experiences the pressures of adult life. Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney and J. K. Simmons also star.

Reception

Juno won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and earned three other Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Page. The film's soundtrack, featuring several songs performed by Kimya Dawson in various guises, was the first chart-topping soundtrack since Dreamgirls and 20th Century Fox's first number one soundtrack since Titanic.

Writing the Screenplay

Diablo Cody wrote the film based on many of her own high school experiences. She was first approached to write a screenplay by film producer Mason Novick, who had previously landed her a book deal for her memoir, Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, after discovering her blog about stripping. He persuaded her to adapt her book for the big screen, but suggested she first write a screenwriting sample to show studios; that sample became Juno.

After deciding on an adoption storyline, Cody collected the stories of adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents, including that of her then-husband, an adoptee who reunited with his birth parents after she wrote the film. She also found inspiration in the story of a close friend who had become pregnant in high school and used some details from her friend's experience in the film, such as her mistreatment by an ultrasound technician.

Much of Juno, however, was based on Cody's own high school experiences: She dated a tic-tac-loving boy similar to Paulie, she was best friends with a cheerleader like Leah, and she used a hamburger phone identical to the one that appears in the film. After writing the screenplay ove...

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