It all really starts with Su Chin.
Before that, Juno, the titular heroine of Jason Reitman's hilariously touching film, has things completely under control. Played to startling perfection by an effervescent Ellen Page, Juno is a 16 year old version of Dorothy Parker, all rapier-sharp tongue-bravado and ceaseless wit masking her scars.
Sure, she's pregnant -- and what worse shenanigans could a girl get upto -- but hides so skillfully behind a blend of hip irony and hamburger phones, we're convinced she's in control.
And so, it's only when the devastatingly cocksure Juno is assaulted by her devoutly pro-life Asian schoolmate outside a clinic she's rushing to -- "to get a hasty abortion" -- she's stunned. Not because Su-Chin makes a valid moral point, but because she reveals that unborn babies have fingernails.
Juno mentions this casually but she's visibly awed and shaken, and we see the first glimmer of the cracking facade -- and the film begins to thaw into something tremendous.
Text: Raja Sen