The “Juno backlash” notwithstanding, the film’s screenwriter (what happened to director Jason
Reitman, who was so cool last year with his smug and reactionary “Thank You For
Smoking?”), self-promotional wunderkind Diablo Cody has been institutionalized
as cinema cool by such cutting edge journals as "Entertainment Weekly,"
where she now has a blog, and
Criterion, at whose website she has decreed her ten
best selections from that august DVD distributor’s portfolio. Inevitably she has been referred to as “the
a title the renowned foot fetishist and one-time filmmaker has himself yet to
earn. Finally, her film has made it cool again for other 16-year-olds like Britney Spears's
kid sister to get pregnant and have babies.
So what do I know? Didn’t the “Women’s Film Circle” declare
“Juno” the "Best Film About Women" and Cody the "Best Woman Storyteller" (they also
put "Gone Baby Gone" in their “Hall of Shame,” presumably because they missed the subtle moral complexity of Amy Ryan’s performance).
But for me one of the saddest aspects of the phenomenon is
that it detracts from the genuine accomplishments of other women filmmakers
this year. Like Sarah Polley and “Away From Her,” which has more authenticity
in a single close-up of Julie Christie than can be found in Cody’s entire
repertoire. Or Julie Delpy, who not only wrote, directed and starred in the
ruefully hilarious “2 Days in Paris,”
but composedthe music, did costumes and put her parents and cat in the cast. And
what about Adrienne Shelley for “Waitress?” She was murdered, for crying out loud. But I guess that’s not
as cool as working as a phone sex operator..