Some really love Juno. I’m fine with it — it’s a very smart and likable film. But there’s no crying or burning need to bring it into the Oscar circle. It just isn’t necessary. A film being “likable” or “lovable” is fine… great. But by what aesthetic card-shuffle or mind-drug does this translate into “Oscar worthy”? I’m hearing Juno is a lock to be nominated for Best Picture. It won’t be a crime if that happens. A head-scratcher, perhaps, but not a crime. But I really don’t get Juno star Ellen Page as a leading Best Actress contender.
As I’ve said before, Page is great with the spunky-spirited attitude and Diablo Cody smartass dialogue but c’mon….Best Actress? Over Julie Christie and Marion Cotillard? Page is very talented (catch her in ’05’s Hard Candy), and there’s no question that her Juno character feels real and honest and lived-in. But it’s not a knock-down, world-class performance, and being Oscar-nominated just …doesn’t…calculate.
All I can figure is that the idea of nominating Page is some kind of subconscious generational reach-out by baby busters, baby boomers and late GenX-ers to the under-30s on their way up. We hear you, we respect you…and maybe if we give a GenY artist an occasional Oscar (or at least an Oscar nomination) you guys will be a little more compassionate towards us when you come into power when you reach your late 30s and 40s and we’re that much older and politically weakened and on-the-ropes. So as a kind of subconscious insurance gesture, we’re showing a little advance obeisance before power.