Juno as cultural watershed?

According to movie critic John Podheretz, the academy-award nominee “Juno” is a profoundly culturally-conservative-in-the-best-sense movie, being against both abortion and, even more subversively to today’s pop culture, against the very concept of “cool.” Now I want to see it.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://4scores.blogspot.com Cap Stewart

    The intention of the screenwriter wasn’t to make a pro-life message. It should be noted that the script pokes fun at both the abortion clinic clerk (in one scene) and the ultrasound doctor (in another scene). Granted, the film ends up being “accidentally” pro life simply because the baby is brought to full term, but the reason the baby wasn’t aborted (from the screenwriter’s perspective, as described by the screenwriter herself) was because the baby needed to be born in order for this particular story to be told.

    So, the pro life “message” (if it can be called that) is something that is just an organic part of the story–which may actually be better than an “agenda movie” (i.e., the shamelessly-promoted-but-artistically-anemic “Bella”).

  • http://4scores.blogspot.com Cap Stewart

    The intention of the screenwriter wasn’t to make a pro-life message. It should be noted that the script pokes fun at both the abortion clinic clerk (in one scene) and the ultrasound doctor (in another scene). Granted, the film ends up being “accidentally” pro life simply because the baby is brought to full term, but the reason the baby wasn’t aborted (from the screenwriter’s perspective, as described by the screenwriter herself) was because the baby needed to be born in order for this particular story to be told.

    So, the pro life “message” (if it can be called that) is something that is just an organic part of the story–which may actually be better than an “agenda movie” (i.e., the shamelessly-promoted-but-artistically-anemic “Bella”).

  • Booklover

    I suppose “Juno” would appeal to “both sides” of the spectrum. It has enough “life is sacred” moments to appeal to some, yet enough “sex is not sacred” PG-13 moments to appeal to those who like that about our movie-going culture. Though I enjoyed the movie, I was glad I hadn’t taken my teen-age son.

    Juno herself is quirky, yet quite wise. The story is profoundly touching. Juno’s parents are endearing in their almost comical reaction to Juno’s pregancy–none of this, “You’ve embarrased us.” The stepmother even says something like, this is your little miracle from Jesus. And the scene at the “women’s clinic” is catching, where Juno can’t stop thinking about the baby’s fingernails; and her little Asian friend, who was picketing, says God will bless you for your miracle, as Juno goes running out.

    But there are moments such as Juno’s friend touching herself and lusting after the rotund middle-aged teacher, later Juno flipping off her friend; that keep the PG-13 rating. Also, who Juno ends up giving her baby to in the end might bother some believers, but it does make for an interesting story.

  • Booklover

    I suppose “Juno” would appeal to “both sides” of the spectrum. It has enough “life is sacred” moments to appeal to some, yet enough “sex is not sacred” PG-13 moments to appeal to those who like that about our movie-going culture. Though I enjoyed the movie, I was glad I hadn’t taken my teen-age son.

    Juno herself is quirky, yet quite wise. The story is profoundly touching. Juno’s parents are endearing in their almost comical reaction to Juno’s pregancy–none of this, “You’ve embarrased us.” The stepmother even says something like, this is your little miracle from Jesus. And the scene at the “women’s clinic” is catching, where Juno can’t stop thinking about the baby’s fingernails; and her little Asian friend, who was picketing, says God will bless you for your miracle, as Juno goes running out.

    But there are moments such as Juno’s friend touching herself and lusting after the rotund middle-aged teacher, later Juno flipping off her friend; that keep the PG-13 rating. Also, who Juno ends up giving her baby to in the end might bother some believers, but it does make for an interesting story.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    I thought that the movie was fabulous. It wasn’t preachy left wing or right. It was very real. The girl wasn’t a “good girl” or a “bad girl” so to say. My mom used to tell me that “good girls get pregnant, too.” I love how her family handles the situation. They are upset, but support her and love her in their own quirky way. There is something redemptive about the movie, even if it isn’t overt. I highly recommend it, but don’t see it with your mother-in-law.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    I thought that the movie was fabulous. It wasn’t preachy left wing or right. It was very real. The girl wasn’t a “good girl” or a “bad girl” so to say. My mom used to tell me that “good girls get pregnant, too.” I love how her family handles the situation. They are upset, but support her and love her in their own quirky way. There is something redemptive about the movie, even if it isn’t overt. I highly recommend it, but don’t see it with your mother-in-law.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    PS Speaking of movies, we just saw Persepolis this past weekend and it was excellent! I am not one to enjoy movies so much, but recently we’ve ditched Hollywood and spent more time watching movies at the Landmark Theatre.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    PS Speaking of movies, we just saw Persepolis this past weekend and it was excellent! I am not one to enjoy movies so much, but recently we’ve ditched Hollywood and spent more time watching movies at the Landmark Theatre.

  • http://www.patrolmag.com nathan martin

    i told you that it was worth watching….
    you should take my advice a tad more often ;)

  • http://www.patrolmag.com nathan martin

    i told you that it was worth watching….
    you should take my advice a tad more often ;)

  • Carl Vehse

    This is just a test link to John Podheretz’s column.

  • Carl Vehse

    This is just a test link to John Podheretz’s column.


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