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There was a short voting on Twitter about this review being made or not, and almost twice as many people voted Yes than No, which is really strange, considering how it was last time with ’Little Birds (Series)’ – and these two projects has similarities.

Can’t say I was excited for ’Palmer’, because just the short summary on imdb suggested that Juno’s role won’t be a major one in it. She’s in a weird position now in the movie industry, because just looking at the tweets regarding her the viewers have overwhelmingly positive opinions about her, no matter what she’s starring in, and yet, she’s showed aside. Of course, it’s obvious why that’s happening, but let’s not get into that, shall we?

Juno and Justin Timberlake (the JTs) have worked together previously on ’Wonder Wheel’, where Ms. Temple shines like a diamond with her beauty and talent. I bet everyone who watched that film loved her character, because she seems so pure and naive, plus she really can’t help causing trouble – it’s not her fault that the guy played by the other JT falls in love with her… Anyway, in ’Palmer’, they are neighbors in a weird way, because Juno’s Shelly lives in a trailer that’s parked ont he lawn next to the house where Justin’s Eddie lives in – as a European, it’s interesting to see that this is possible in the USA. Both of them have troubled lives: Shelly’s a mom, but she doesn’t live with the father of her son; she’s addicted to drugs (this isn’t being shown explicitly) and she’s not at all suited to be a responsible parent. Eddie’s an ex-convict, so he has no job, his reputation isn’t great and aside from the secondary main character, Sam (played by 8-year-old Ryder Allen), nobody trusts him.

In a nutshell, the story is about the adult, who has nothing and the little boy who has nothing either, and they both want something, which they find in each other, and that’s family and friendship. Juno plays the root of conflict here, because even if Shelly’s unsuited to be a parent, she wants to be one; while Palmer is more reliable, responsible and caring, but society seems to think otherwise. (On a side note: What a strange situation, because it’s all about what’s good to the kid, but he himself doesn’t get to say what he wants. And even if he did had a word, it would probably be dismissed, because he’s so young and therefore – according to the laws – unable to make the good decision….)

At the beginning, there’s a really unexpected sex scene between the two JTs, which made me laugh, especially if you consider that they’ve played a couple who’s love cannot be fulfilled in ’Wonder Wheel’. It’s like after four years, Justin just can’t wait any longer:D Then Shelly goes away, and for almost an hour, she’s gone. As long as she stayed, the main female role was split between her and June Squibb (Eddie’s grandmother), then it’s passed on to Alicia Wainwright (Maggie, Sam’s teacher), then it gets back to Juno, when she returns.

Ms. Temple’s two most memorable scenes: When she returns home after weeks of being gone, looking like an undead and when she storms into the courtroom to defend her dysfunctional little family. In the first, she manages to become scary and repulsive, while at the same time she’s still just a mother who missed her child. In the second one, she has her traditional look, kinda like Keeley from ’Ted Lasso’, which is refreshing, and she plays really well. In that scene, it’s hard to decide who you’re cheering on for… (On another side note: I was wondering if Juno’s drastic change in looks was because of this movie, but after watching it, I don’t see it. She still has the same looks and figure as in ’Ted Lasso’, just the lighting and make-up is used to make her look less appealing, but the role itself didn’t required the physical change. There’s something else behind the scenes here…)

In regards to the role of Shelly, this is something that’s not very much associated with Juno. You can find things that are often tied to her (sex scene, troubled young woman), but being a mother is something that she’s never done before – her character dies giving birth in ’Far from the Madding Crowd’ and she’s pregnant at the end of ’The Brass Teapot’, but that’s as close as she got to it so far. The reason why Shelly’s not suited to be a mom is irrelevant here, drugs are a double-edged subject anyway, but despite the fact that there’s like almost no positive aspects of this character, you’ll still going to at least pity her. Shelly’s not a bad person, she’s more like a victim of circumstance. Plus the ending redeems her, because she makes the right decision from Sam’s perspective, even if it means an incredible personal sacrifice.

Overall the story was okay, the music is especially cool, plus the acting was nice – aside from Ms Temple’s performance, I really liked Ms. Wainwright and Ryder Allen too. The whole „transgender” thing’s just a vehicle to get the film done, because it could have worked just as well if Sam would be a typical chubby kid with glasses or a girl. It’s not the main focus of the story, just something to rise it above the audience’s impulse level. Apple Tv has achieved success with it, because according to wikipedia, the weekend where ’Palmer’ premiered gathered the biggest increase in viewership in the „channel’s” history.

’Palmer’ is an okay movie, nothing really spectacular. From the Juno-point-of-view, it’s an unusual piece in her filmography, so it was nice to see her in something (sort of) different for once.

Here you can find our ’Palmer’ Gallery

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