One of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees is a grand legal drama that harks back to topical films of the 1970s. One is an epic battle between good and evil set against the backdrop of the American West. Two of the nominees for the top prize span decades, one a Greek tragedy about greed, the other a romance full of regret. All four are the type of big picture the Academy usually goes for — the kind that are important, but more specifically, they “feel” important as well.
Then there’s a little comedy about a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant, starring a bunch of actors and actresses better known for their work on TV. And it might very well be the early favorite.
And that’s a “huge surprise,” director Jason Reitman told MTV News about an hour after his film picked up four nominations, including recognition for Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody and lead actress Ellen Page.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” said Page, who was traveling from London to Paris when she got the news (read more of her reaction at MTVMoviesBlog.com). “I haven’t spoken to [Reitman or Cody] yet, but there’s been lot of text messaging. I got one from Diablo saying: ’I told you so!’ ”
“I like to call it a movie about a family that was made by a family,” said first-time nominee Reitman.
In the end, “Juno” doesn’t just tell a great story , it is a great story, something along the lines of Cinderella. It’s the little indie that could — a movie written by a former stripper, starring an unknown actress in the lead role, directed by man who only had one previous feature film to his credit, about a delicate subject matter — which came out of nowhere to be one of the best-reviewed and most popular flicks of the year.
Consider that last year’s indie darling, “Little Miss Sunshine,” went on to gross approximately $60 million domestically. By comparison, “Juno” should blow past $100 million within the next week.
“We were making this little seven-and-a-half-million-dollar comedy about teenage pregnancy up in Vancouver, and my hopes were to match [Reitman’s previous directorial effort] ’Thank You for Smoking,’ ” the director said of the movie’s surprise success. “You know, if we could [have made] $25 million, it would have been amazing.
“And, uh, we’ve seemed to have passed that,” he laughed. “It’s unreal.”
It’s actually something of a fairy tale, Reitman insisted; one that gets to continue, thanks to its multiple award nominations.
“The idea that we’re all gonna be going [to the Oscars] together seems very fitting,” he said. “I think we’ll all probably get together and celebrate, go grab dinner and go crazy!”
“I don’t even know how to wrap my head around it,” Page said of her Oscar night plans. “I’m gonna be in the company of people I admire and respect so much.”
With a storybook ending like that, what are the odds that Reitman will ever have an experience like this again?
“Maybe on ’Juno 2,’ ” the director joked.
Hey, if the glass slipper fits.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Juno.”
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