Two Thumbs Up for Juno

JunoAs far as pro-life movies go, I liked Bella, but I loved Juno. The script was fantastic, the acting was great, and the story was quite uplifting—surprising and moving all at once. The soundtrack was awesome, too. Juno is deservedly generating Oscar buzz and is playing to packed houses even in liberal communities comprised of viewers who, well, aren’t exactly movement right-to-lifers. Most importantly, the film had a strong moral, pro-family, life-affirming message without coming across as preachy, moralistic, or agenda-driven. It was pro-life without even really trying to be.

This year is apparently the year of the pro-pregnancy films. There have been several which feature women who reject abortion and choose life. Many will be surprised that none of these (except Bella) was really made to communicate a pro-life message per se. They were produced by filmmakers who were motivated only by the desire to tell good stories that sell lots of tickets. I’m not so surprised—first because I’ve never thought that most Americans really approved of abortion—even if they fall into the “I’m opposed but. . . .” category.

But second, it’s related to the phenomenon Leon discussed in an earlier post—that in real life we have lots of mixed fruits from mixed trees. If what we say about abortion is true, we should expect that those interested in telling true and beautiful stories and those in our society interested in listening to them will eventually stumble on that fact—even if by accident. Truth has an appeal and an allure all its own. This is how God, the author of all truth, made the world, after all.

Some will find Juno a little too true: The language is occasionally on the coarse side, and the filmmaker doesn’t shrink from the real problems of divorce and teen sex. At the same time, those associated with the Planned Parenthood culture come across as seedy and unsympathetic. And I would expect that we might just see fewer abortions and more adoptions because of this film.

3 responses

  1. I saw Juno shortly after it opened nationally, and loved it. I have found that it’s a film that stays with me even a month after seeing it–of course, that could just be due to my listening to the soundtrack daily. No, it really is a remarkably beautiful film, one that deeply touches the heart and head. It has the mark of a truly great film: the thought of never seeing it again is unbearable.

    You know, I really do have hope for our culture.

  2. I haven’t yet seen the film. The overall positive responses I have seen to it by folks noting a (perhaps unintended) pro-life overtone is heartening.

    The author is, by her own admission in interviews I have seen, a former stripper & telephone sex operator who has made some positive sounding remarks about that chapter of her life. I think it doubtful that she came to intend such a Catholic message. Which makes it all the more phenomenal.

    In fact, it seems to show the truth of the “Law of God being written on the hearts of man.” Honest secular/agnostic people of good will can’t really deny some Truth which is all too self-evident.

  3. Dear Mr. Brown

    My name is Billy Nichols, and I am 70 years old. I have a small book about my life that has been sold out so many times I can’t remember.
    My life is about abortion. Or not being abroted. I was pronounced dead three months after I had been conceived. The Dr. wanted to remove me from my mother. She refused. The Dr. said she would die, because of infection. She made that choice. I did not know about any of this until one night just before church, I was to preach in 20:min. A little lady came in my office to talk. My secerate said a lady wanted to talk to me. I told her to allow her to come in. The door opened
    in came (my mother), She ask me, son can I tell you a story before you preach tonight, I said sure Mom. I sat there with tears flowing. It was the first time it had ever been told to anyone in my family that was still living.
    This story has since been written in a booklet form. But at age 70 and still preaching , I think it would be time to think about making a film about Dad and Mom’s hardship in raising their family. Their life and what they did to allow me to be able to preach the Gospel for now over 51 years. With abortion growing so fast, and people saying if the baby endangers the life of the mother then we must abort it.—The rest will soon be history. I don’t know how much time God has allowed me, but before I go home to see mom and dad, I want a truth to be told.
    Now in these 51 yrs I have preached around the world. In the last 11 years I have seen over 47,000 souls brought to Christ in our meetings.
    This story is not about me, but about Mother and Dad. She allowed me to live that I might stand at the head of her grave and preach her home going.
    Mr. Brown if you are not able to help with this please put me in touch with someone who can.

    God bless you


    Bro. Nichols

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