Juno Commentary By: Director, Jason Reitman and Writer, Diablo Cody
Interesting Facts• Throughout the movie the director chose to add season titles at thelast minute to make an important point of time in the story.• The opening animated title sequence was done by title studio whichtook the entire time as it took for the director to make the film.• In the commentary, Diablo notes that she doesn’t feel that Reitmanfollowed her original storyline all that closely but she’s okay with that.• Director really wanted Juno’s room to feel real and “legit” ratherthan all those fake high school cliche rooms in other movies.• Reitman wanted to use a lot of mixed colors with cool outdoorlight but also indoor light sticking out.• Reitman states he “uses the brandy bunch in a lot of his work”• The whole abortion clinic scene was just green screen.
Important Factors• Just one factor throughout the movie determined the PG-13 rating.• Reitman and Diablo together made a decision in the beginning thatthey wanted to make sound effects very loud and noticeable.• Painting in flowers, using bags of leaves to drop, all contributed tothem shooting in Spring when it was supposed to be Fall.• One major symbol for characters personalities in the film werechairs. They made sure that every lounging scene a specific characterwas in, they had their own chair that reflected themselves.• Reitman admitted that when looking for actors, he wanted really big,expressive eyes to really play out the intensity.• Reitman states how he can tell what kind of audiences watch hismovie from the different points of view he set up within the film.
Adoption Meeting SceneThroughout this scene, Juno (Ellen Page) is starting to bond with her soon to be adoption parents. The director makes a comment that this is one out of three scenes that they ever shot with ahandheld camera. They also talked a lot about how they wanted to make Vanessa’s house (Jennifer Gardner’s), very conserved andquite perfection. Diablo, the writer states that in this scene whenVanessa comes up to interrupt their “jam session”, this was one of the first points she wanted to make that their marriage was headed downhill, just by the fact that they don’t interact well with each other. They did a very good job of making the shots contribute to the awkwardness of the couple.
First Winter Scene In this Winter seen, they were not expecting toactually shoot these for like two to three weeks, butthere was an out of the blue storm so they took out all their cameras and just blobbed everything together with this one snow storm. They ended up getting basically all the snow scenes they needed in that one day. Reitman stated how grateful it wasthat he didn’t have to use fake snow because that’s what they were planning on doing.
Ultra Sound SceneIn this scene, Juno, her best friend, step mom and doctor are all huddled around this monitor looking at how the baby is growing. Reitman makes a point on how hard it was to shoot this scene because he really wanted to get everyones differentperspective on the baby shown on the monitor. While the doctor is wiping off the ultra sound goo she starts to be quite judgmental about Juno being a pregnant teenager andsomething the director commented on was how much Diablo came out in her story writing for this scene. “The stepmother who has been played as such an enemy since Cinderella came out to defend and protect her stepdaughter.” - Reitman It’s good to see a positive family with step parents for once in a movie.
Flirtation Scene This scene is one where Juno and the soon-to-be adoptive father just finished watching a movie and are just sitting on the couch talking. Reitman said that you have to have two very good actors tojust be able to have one shot throughout the whole scene and he said them two pulled it off. Juno and Vanessa’s husband are just talking and Reitman said he wanted the audience to feel a little flirtation butnot too much. There was a specific amount he wanted and because of that, he actually had to position them in a certain way for this sceneand he didn’t for any other. The end of the scene when the characters have met complete eye contact, the sound of the garage door opening very suddenly made the husband jump up immediately, showing that he knew deep inside he at least felt a tiny bit out of place and like he was doing something wrong.
Painting SceneIn this scene, Vanessa and her husband are deciding onwhat color they’re going to to paint the nursery. One of the small details that Reitman said he really wanted to put in was that she’s wearing one of his favorite band shirts as a painting shirt. He also said that he really didn’t want them to completely follow the lines but just.. let them act and be IN the story and really feel the awkwardness they have in their relationship.
Juno Visit SceneJuno is visiting Vanessa’s husband once again in this scene.They go over comics together, talk about more music at at one time in the scene, Mark puts music on and Juno and Mark start dancing. “You want it to be dangerous, but not to dangerous.” - Reitman stated “We wanted to make this sceneuncomfortable, but not so uncomfortable to push the audience outof the way.” In the end, this scene didn’t end up being a romanticflirting scene but a scene where they are flirting with each other’s time periods. Mark wants to stay a child and Juno wants to be anadult. Then Mark tells Juno he’s leaving Vanessa and Juno flips out and everything just bounces in every wrong direction.
Splitting up Scene This is the scene where Mark and Vanessa are discussing them splitting up and who’s gonna go where and what’s going to happen. One very major yet minor detail is thateven though these two are divorcing, they’re not fighting,they are both taking this in a really calm anger type of way. Then Juno knocks on the door, drops a note and drivesaway in a halt. Mark picks up the note but Vanessa grabs it automatically knowing it was for her saying “If your still in, I’m still in.” Meaning even though they’re splitting up, Juno still wants to go through with the adoption.
Labor Scene The scene starts off with Juno driving a little matchbox car up and down her tummy then she realizes her water broke and everyone rushes to the hospital. Reitman mentions how his own child was born a couple of monthsago and after being in an actual labor room and seeing it allhappen, he could really make the truth and pain within the seen come alive. After she had the baby, Bleek, herboyfriend came running from his track meet and just laid with her, holding her on the hospital bed.
Closing Scene The closing scene, the whole crew decided to call it a “return of innocence”. She rides her bike on a warm Summer day over to Bleek’s house with her guitar on her back and they both start playing and singing the suettogether with a very long pulling out dolly shot which was shot on the last day of shooting. Reitman insisted thatthey be singing it live so they hid microphones all over and they used that performance right there, raw and all.