Review: Jojo Rabbit (2019 Fantastic Fest)

Title: Jojo Rabbit
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

What It Is: Young nazi Jojo (Griffin Davis) has an imaginary friend and like any good nazi it’s the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler (Waititi). Jojo learns what it is to be German during WWII. He also has to learn what it means to be a man. His mother Rosie (Johansson) struggles to raise him as his father is off fighting in the war. When an unexpected turn of events occurs it’ll shake Jojo’s belief in his imaginary friend and real-life leader.

What We Think: This is one of the year’s funniest films. It’s not all yuck yucks though as the film features an unbelievable heart at its core. Roman Griffin Davis is a marvel! He carries the entire film on his little back. Thomasin McKenzie pairs well with him. She seems to do well in films like this. Much like she did in Leave No Trace. There she worked against the brilliant Ben Foster. For me though, Scarlett Johansson was kind of a show-stealer. This script is funny, ardent and honestly delightful. It’s by no means perfect in it’s pacing as there are a few scenes where things seem to get a bit too serious out of nowhere and that hurts the film.

Our Grade: A-, There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the years very best. I laughed, particularly at one joke so hard that I almost missed the next one. I can without even a second thought recommend this one to everyone. Its PG-13 rating means that even older kids can partake in the Nazi madness. That is certainly not a sentence I thought I’d ever be typing here. Go out and see this one! Especially fans of Taika’s other work like What We Do in the ShadowsHunt For The Wilderpeople and of course Thor: Ragnarok.

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