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Jason Reitman

Directors in the Oscar race

There was magic in Diablo Cody’s “Juno” script, director Reitman knew. But how would he keep the rabbit from running off with the hat?

“That dialogue is wonderful but very tricky,” he says. “The key to a movie like this is making sure it doesn’t become an after-school special and at the same time doesn’t end up too silly. You need complete control (of the tone).”

To counter the stylized script, Reitman says that he made everything else as grounded as possible. “I tried to create real moments between the actors, and to set the stage and color and light it in a real way … not some heightened existence.

“I think the job of a director is more to react than to create, to look at the screenplay, look at the performances, look at the editing and (ask), ‘How does it speak to you? Is it right or wrong for whatever reason? Is it honest enough?’ “

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