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December 04, 2007

Malkovich Doesn't Vote

Juno3I want to meet Diablo Cody, the writer behind the sharp, funny and heartfelt movie, "Juno," which premiered last night in Westwood. How she lasers into the lingo of American youth, 'fer shiz,' and creates a heroine so dazzlingly fearless and yet completely terrified at the same time, played by Ellen Page, is some feat.  Juno (Page), more often referred to as "dude," plays a pregnant teenager looking to give up her baby to a yuppie couple (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner). Anyway, I didn't meet Cody (real name Brook, and read David Carr's great interview with her). Instead, at the premiere I talked to Jason Reitman, the rising (it's probably fair to say 'risen') directing talent who has now made two back to back smart comedies in about two years. "Juno" follows "Thank You for Smoking." That, too, is hard to beat. Some will complain about the Napoleon-Dynamite touches, and the Tenenbaum-ish tone. Stop it. Be grateful for something intelligent and entertaining. Oh, and what's all that about Malkovich? The actor was a producer of this movie; he educated me for an hour about his political views which, not unexpectedly, are searingly critical of absolutely everybody. That includes both U.S. political parties, the candidates, France, Islam and The New York Times. Also, he told me, he swore off voting in 1972. The movie opens December 14.