Listening to Juno

Juno is a great movie — but there’s something a little odd about the music.

So you haven’t seen the film? It’s about a 16 year old girl called Juno who gets herself pregnant. And yes … I can hear you. You’re saying, "Gets HERSELF pregnant! Isn’t there some male person who’s also a little bit responsible?" And of course you’re right — but you should see the movie.

Now, back to the music. Juno was written by Diablo Cody who’s famous for things we won’t go into here. When she was at high school, Cody fronted a punk band called Yak Spackle. And in the movie Juno has also been in a band and likes punk music. Throughout the film she talks about bands like the Stooges and how great the punk scene was in 1977. When she meets Mark — the story’s thirty-something underground rock, manga and horror film aficionado — they jam together in his home studio and talk about Sonic Youth, the Melvins and Nirvana.

But the funny thing is, the movie’s soundtrack is nothing like this. Sure there’s a Sonic Youth song and something by the Velvet Underground, but it’s Kimya Dawson who sets the tone. A member of anti-folk legends the Moldy Peaches, Dawson’s sweetly sung lyrics are a mixture of teenage whimsy and angst.

Kimya Dawson was Ellen Page‘s idea. Page plays the role of Juno. In an early meeting with director Jason Reitman, he asked her what kind of music she thought Juno would listen to. Page said the Moldy Peaches. She played him a sample and he was sold. He loved it.

While there’s nothing wrong with the choice of music, the soundtrack jars with the dialogue. Cody had originally envisaged a more aggressive punk sound for the movie. In an interview for Suicide Girls she says that relates to Mark’s character "probably more than any other character in the film besides Juno." Sure everyone who sees the movie hates him, but his band "opened for The Melvins!"

This entry was posted in Films and TV, Music. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tony T
13 years ago

There’s a weird coincidence. I’ve never heard of this movie, but only Saturday I played the Moldy Peaches CD for the first time in about five years.

Put a latch on the door so Mama don’t know
That I’m downloading porn with Davo

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
13 years ago

“Gets HERSELF pregnant”. You’re gonna be in BIIIIIG trouble with Philly.

dr faustus
13 years ago

I saw the movie on the weekend, and I thought that the music worked really well in it. It wasn’t necessarily the music that Juno declared that she was into, but within the context of what was going on in the movie, it was quite appropriate.

There may have been more than one Moldy Peaches song, but there was one in particular which was played in snippets throughout the movie (and then by Juno and Bleekers at the end), which really seemed to serve as a running commentary.

I think this is one movie soundtrack I’m going to have to go and find – I loved it.

Vee
Vee
13 years ago

Could the movie have a more unappealing title? Is any of related to Roman mythology?

Don Arthur
Don Arthur
13 years ago

Is any of it related to Roman mythology?

Well … sort of. At one point in the film Mark asks about her name. Juno says that her dad had an obsession with Roman or Greek mythology and decided to name her after Zeus’ wife. She explains that the goddess Juno was “really beautiful and really mean, like Diana Ross.”

Juno is the goddess of marriage (and things related to marriage) and the wife of Jupiter. In Greek mythology she is called Hera and her husband is Zeus.

What’s unappealing about the title?

The Doctor
The Doctor
13 years ago

Is any of related to Roman mythology?

Vee,
According to Roman mythology Juno had two faces, looking to the past and the future. I’m sure you the relevance!

Jim Farrell
13 years ago

Doctor,

I believe you are referring to Janus, not Juno, the god of comings and goings. He’s most famous as the root of “January.”

Joe
Joe
13 years ago

I think it’s obvious that Cody relates to Mark, and I for one liked him way better than his wife. Ok, she wants to be a mother, Juno is having a kid that she doesn’t want to raise – double success, but the marriage was doomed. She made him keep all of the stuff that’s really HIM in a single room of the house, while the rest of the home is one of those kind of terrifying shrines to Marriage with a capital “M”, complete with the absurd photos that clearly weirded Juno out. At one point Mark complains that his wife gets mad when he plays music and watches movies during the day. Ok, from an income perspective I understand this, but does he ever really get to be himself? Ironically, Juno’s bonding with him and thinking he is cool for all the things that the wife is trying to get him to leave behind is probably what woke him up to the fact that he is still a free-willed individual with less than a foot in the grave, and he could be happier elsewhere. Cody deserves props for a balanced treatment of all the characters, but I can’t help but find some people’s reaction to Mark on the funny side. Sure the wife (whose name I’m not surprised I can’t remember) makes the ultimate mother, but would any man want to be married to her, and does any woman of any substance or individuality really want to be her? At least Juno’s parents seemed well-matched, and on the same wave-length.

trackback
13 years ago

None…

None…