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One more gratuitous "Juno" bashing

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 new Tarantino,”  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..

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