October 31, 2007
Juno-Best Picture Winner?

As we start getting closer and closer to the big day, I can't help but feel that one film stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of general LOVE, and that's Juno.

Oscarbait pics like Atonement have their defenders, to be sure. The darker stuff, like No Country and Bloo, may be a little too dark for the Academy. Sweeney Todd and Charlie Wilson remain unseen. Into the Wild has a lot of love. No one gives a crap for In The Valley of Elah. Does anyone really love Michael Clayton, or just admire it?

But nope, Juno is making people left and right fall IN LOVE with the movie. Nevermind that Diablo Cody seems to be walking away with the Best Original Screenplay Oscar (how can she NOT win?). I'm starting to wonder if Juno has what it takes to go all the way.

We know Fox Searchlight is amazing when it comes to pushing their films. I think Little Miss Sunshine was last year's runner-up to The Departed, and there's no reason to not assume they won't mount a similarly strong campaign for Juno. And besides, in the midst of all the dark and cruel films, how can AMPAS resist a sweet, funny movie with a big heart?


Juno's a great film and I could easily see it slipping in as this year's "fun best picture nominee" but comedies have a rough time swaying voters especially in the face of "important" dramas. Reitman's direction is equal parts biting and generous but, historically comedy directors don't make it into the top 5 (Crowe, Dayton & Faris, James L. Brooks for AGAIG) which will be a large knock against the film. I also think the film will alienate a lot of voters both with its stylized dialogue (which I suspect will fly over a lot of older viewers' heads) as well as its less than sentimentalized approach to pregnancy. I think the writing Oscar is Cody's to lose (she'll make a great subject on Barbara Walters' post-Oscar show) and in a weak year for actress, Page could surprise but Best Picture? Would be nice but I don't see it happening.

I saw a screening two nights ago, asked five people afterward if they enjoyed it. Enjoyable, yes, but none of them loved it. Problem with Juno is it's too quirky for the academy. A best picture nomination is possible, but the win is IMPOSSIBLE. Ellen Page stands a possible chance of winning Actress, though the competition will be tough, and knowing the Original Screenplay Oscar usually goes to comedy indies, it makes sense, but I sense Diablo Cody might not receive all the love there too. It's hard to imagine Juno to be as big as people are making it out to be.

I agree with the author and disagree with the previous comments--I think the sky is the limit for Juno. It is more than a lightweight comedy--there's real substance there, and I'd compare it more to a 'dramedy' like Terms of Endearment than an all-out 'comedy.' Little Miss Sunshine nearly pulled it off last year... reserving the right to amend this in the unlikely event I see something better, I think Juno is on its way.

I assume everyone speaking has seen Juno, am I right?

Oscar likes sweeps, which Juno simply can't manage. Ellen Page is too young (and simply not good enough) to win Best Actress. Even if it manages an Original Screenplay win, it won't get a Director nomination. So yeah. It's not going to be winning Best Picture... ever.

Saw it weeks ago in Austin. And making statements like...

"Little Miss Sunshine nearly pulled it off last year..."

…Are not only impossible to prove (why is it assumed the film came in 2nd?) but also kind of proves the point that bblasingame and myself are trying to make. LMS spent a full year building buzz after Sundance, grossed nearly 60 million dollars (which Juno will not get anywhere near), was already available on DVD, won the PGA, SAG and WGA, starred 3 Oscar nominees and the star of a popular TV show and STILL didn't win. This by the way is almost the exact same scenario as Sideways which was also the best reviewed film of the year and it didn't win.

And Juno won’t have as much going for the film by the time Oscar season is in full swing. You're seriously underestimating that this is a film that will have a lot of detractors both for its edge (I counted about a dozen abortion/miscarriage jokes in the first 20 mins), it's Napoleon Dynamite-esque hipster cache, and frankly for how young it skewers. This is very much a film of the Myspace/blogger era and while that's exactly the sort of thing I love about the film I think it's far from universal.

Plus, it's a comedy set in the present day. Working Girl, Broadcast News, Jerry Maguire, Fargo, Full Monty, As Good as it Gets, the two films mentioned above. All were bridesmaids. You have to go back to 1983's Terms of Endearment to find a modern-day "comedy" (and if memory serves the last third of that one involved a woman dying of cancer) that won best picture. Before that is '77's Annie Hall.

It's a lovely film. A best picture nomination will boost the career of everyone involved and add valuable eyeballs to the film. But it won't win best picture.

To add to ASD's comment, the people I talked to after walking out of the screening made the same exact comments, calling it a blogger era film and the Napoleon Dynamite hipster feel to it. Does that sound like a best picture winner to you?

I'll be nominated for Best Pic, no doubt, but win? Really? I loved the movie, but for the win??? Can't see it happening.

Ellen Page as Best Actress?
No way. Keira Knightley already has the Oscar in her bag.
ATONEMENT will win Best Picture.

I don't see how either Ellen Page or Keira Knightley can dethrone Cate Blanchett ;o)

Will definitely catch this film if it's ever released in my neck of the woods! At the moment I think there are still too many unseen films with potential to be proclaming a best pic win for anyone... Makes for a very interesting year!!!

And I don't see how Ellen Page or Cate Blanchett or even the lovely Julie Christie can dethrown the early front runner that I think everyone is underestimating in the Oscar race - Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart.

And P.S. What is with all the love for ATONEMENT? I mean, it's good, it's not great and James McAvoy is the standout in the movie, not Keira.

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