Hype is just that…

The Academy Awards are still more than a month away (if the WGA strike ends before then) and some have already placed a crown on the head of Jason Reitman’s new film, Juno. With a terrific cast and a widely praised script by Diablo Cody, the film has taken the indie film/arthouse cinema world by storm, and then slowly but surely ignited the general box office (It was the #1 movie in America this past Monday and Tuesday.). While all of this acclaim has been heaped upon Juno, with many stating that this is a quirky gem, it’s actually more a case of the emperor having no clothes.

Sixteen year old Juno MacGuff (played perfectly by Ellen Page) shares a moment of carnal passion with her best friend, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). The result is, of course, an unwanted pregnancy. Juno mulls over her options before deciding to give the little bundle to a couple seeking to adopt (Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman).

What follows is quirk for quirk’s sake. When you’re name dropping Herschell Gordon Lewis and Dario Argento one minute, then The Runaways, it’s hard not to see how the script is almost asking the actors to look into the camera and state, “See?! See how hip, cool, artsy, and indie us, and by transit of property, this script is?!” Then again, the opening credits sequence cements that fact. And if I hear one more movie have a character mention Sonic Youth as proof they’re down with the street, I’m going to scream. I’m sure this film is all the rage with art school kids just beginning their semester but as a film lover and someone who appreciates all types of cinema (especially those with their own unique voice), it’s really disappointing to see something like Juno, a film that’s not a film but a collection of “hip” dialogue strung together by quirky (there’s that word again…see how unusual they are!) acoustic songs; only Jason Bateman escapes this unscathed. His performance is understated and calm, refreshing in its own way.

One hopes screenwriter Diablo Cody’s next film, Jennifer’s Body (about a high school girl who’s possessed by a demon), aims higher. I cannot see how Juno has gotten such praise. It’s a patchwork, a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie, that offers nothing but the same “clever” wordplay that was tired almost a decade ago. Window dressing and a coat of hipster paint do not an endearing film make and in the rich and flavorful world of cinema, Juno is as hollow as a chocolate Easter bunny.

currently crazy but hanging in there as best I can…

Long story short, my mother’s cancer is also in her liver and bones (I’m thinking hips). She’d been scheduled to have a port put in (for her chemo) Monday at 8:30AM at Candler Hospital.

I came home from work Sunday at 10:35PM and found my mother unconscious in the front seat of the car. I called my sister, we called 911.

We’re thinking it’s because she was prescribed these pain-relief fentanyl patches), along with percocet and morphine. She mixed all three, a big no-no, and it caused her to basically turn into a zombie of sorts, with some coherent moments mixed in.

We took her to Candler Hospital (not the one closest to us – that’s St. Joseph’s -, though they’ve merged and as a whole company are called St. Joseph’s/Candler; Candler’s across town) where she’d been scheduled to have a port put in (for her chemo) at 8:30 Monday morning. They took her vitals, gave her breathing treatments, and hooked her up to oxygen. Once her vitals were decent, they decided to go ahead and put in the port, which they did. They also decided to admit her to the hospital, to monitor her condition.

My sister and I ate breakfast in the cafeteria while the procedure was going on. I got home Monday at 1:30PM; we’d both been at the hospital since a little after 2AM Monday morning.

My mother did call me at 1PM or so Tuesday afternoon. She was coherent and couldn’t believe that she’d zonked out in the car. She also said that the hospital planned to release her in 2-3 days. Per my sister (who I called from work earlier Tuesday evening), they decided to go ahead and start her chemo. I was also informed that her oxygen levels seem to go down without her being hooked up so they’re trying to get those to a manageable level. But my mother seemed pretty with it when I spoke with her, stating that it had been frustrating trying to talk to the hospital staff when it felt like she was talking through a fog, so to speak.

I believe they gave her her third chemo treatment today. She’s doing better than before; I spoke with her earlier today, informing her of the NH primary results, and earlier this evening (well, technically yesterday evening) about bill payments and the like.

So as you can plainly see, it’s been quite the ordeal around these parts lately. I’m keeping my head and my spirits high the best I can.