From the Archive: Juno

Few filmmakers experienced quite as precipitous a drop as Jason Reitman. He went from back-to-back Best Director nominations to a pair of films that were universally panned (with, it’s worth noting, one compromised but ambition feature in between). Through it all, he’s at least had the live reads, regular events that brought together impressive groups of actors to offer one-time-only, live stage performances of some truly beloved screenplays. Though the event is officially retired as an ongoing concern, Reitman is clearly keeping it in his back pocket, ready to throw on the table when the moment is right, such as a … Continue reading From the Archive: Juno

I never thought I would come of age, let alone on a moldy page

Young Adult reunites director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody four years after their shared breakthrough with Juno. In different ways, to different degrees, both creators come into the movie with a little something to prove. Despite an even better follow-up film, Reitman still has his vocal detractors, those who find his efforts a little too slick and glib. Cody, though an enthusiastic Oscar winner for her Juno efforts, faced an even sterner backlash, largely on the basis of another produced screenplay that was smothered into lifelessness by the same sort of dialogue of inventive slang that gained her attention … Continue reading I never thought I would come of age, let alone on a moldy page

Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Two

Jason Reitman’s third feature as a writer-director is perfectly positioned to tap into the dismal zeitgeist of economic hardship and jobs that are vanishing as fast as double scotches in a hotel bar. George Clooney doesn’t just play a businessman who spends most of his life jetting from city to city, entirely untethered from a settled life. He’s a hired hit man, taking up temporary residence in the conference rooms of failing firms to tell a morose parade of professionals that they are are loosing their livelihoods. It’s a bleakly comic reflection of the most downbeat pages of today’s newspaper. … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Two