Toronto Film Festival: Ellen Page on Juno’s lasting influence


Ellen PageImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ellen Page played the title role in the 2007 comedy

Ten years on from the release of Juno, film fans reckon they’ve spotted its influence reaching far beyond the box office.

The movie, about a teenage girl falling pregnant unexpectedly, was something of a surprise hit in 2007 after it received a standing ovation at its Toronto Film Festival premiere.

It went on to take $231m (£175m) globally on a $7m (£5.3m) budget and notched up four Oscar nominations, winning one for best original screenplay.

But now some have noticed a potential link between the film’s release and the number of teen pregnancies in the US.

The birth rate among girls aged between 15 and 19 is at an all-time low, having fallen sharply since 2007, according to the latest government statistics.

One comment posted on social media pointing out the correlation between the drop and the release of Juno received more than 28,000 retweets.

“I felt [the film’s impact] in aspects when we were making it,” says actress Ellen Page, who played the title role.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Allison Janney and JK Simmons played Juno’s stepmother and father

“At that time, a lead teenage girl in a movie even getting to dress like that felt a feat, when I was like ‘I’m wearing this flannel’.”

“So I think in terms of that character itself, I felt it could potentially have an impact because it did feel like something new.”

The film sees Juno decide to give birth when she can’t go through with an abortion. She then puts the baby up for adoption.

“You hope the film resonates, and even though Juno does approach it with a lot of optimism and generosity, she obviously has a difficult time and difficult emotional experience, which manages to break through all the defence mechanisms,” Page told the BBC.

“It explores abortion, we have a scene in an abortion clinic, and there’s some conversation about that as well, so I hope it allowed to present all the choices and the impact of what that means.”

The actress has been back at the Toronto Film Festival this week promoting her new film, zombie thriller The Cured, which co-stars Irish actor Sam Keeley.

Read more from the festival:


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