Jojo Rabbit is a comedy-drama written and directed by Taika Waititi and is based on Christine Leunens’s book, Caging Skies. The title character, Jojo Rabbit, is a ten-year-old who lives in Nazi Germany nearing the end of WWII. Jojo has created an imaginary friend, who happens to be his version of Adolf Hitler. After the Academy Awards were announced, Jojo Rabbit was re-featured at many major theaters — I’m more than ecstatic for that decision. I’m just going to say, WOW!
Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a ten-year-old boy living in Nazi Germany during World War II with his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson). His absent father is supposedly serving on the Italian Front but has lost all contact with his family. Jojo’s older sister Inge has recently died of influenza. The nationalistic Jojo often talks with his imaginary friend, a supportive but childish version of Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). Jojo and his best friend Yorki (Archie Yates) attend a Deutsches Jungvolk Hitler Youth training camp, run by the one-eyed Wehrmacht Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell). When Jojo is ordered to kill a rabbit by one of the older Youth members, he tries to release it and runs off crying. After a pep talk from his imaginary friend, Jojo returns and throws a Stielhandgranate without permission. It bounces off a tree and explodes at his feet, leaving him with facial scars and a slight limp. After Jojo recovers, Rosie asks Klenzendorf, who was demoted after the incident, to make her son feel included despite his injuries. Jojo had been exempt from field training and placed in the back office where he performed small tasks such as spreading propaganda leaflets throughout the town, as well as collecting scrap metal for the war effort. Alone at home one day, Jojo discovers a teenage girl who was his late sister’s former classmate, Elsa Korr (Thomasin McKenzie), living upstairs.
I thought Jojo Rabbit was a children’s film and didn’t bother to see it. Not only is Jojo Rabbit not strictly a children’s flick, but it is also an anti-Hitler Satire, like none I’ve ever seen. There are so many surprises in this film, I’m reluctant to tell any parts of the story, as it may spoil it for you. Out of the eight other movies nominated for best picture Oscar, Jojo Rabbit is my pick. It’s really that good. Between Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waiti, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell, this film shows how brilliantly outstanding these actors are. The scenery allowed me to feel the effects of war-torn Germany. By no means, was Jojo Rabbit a comedy, assassinations of their citizens, the public hangings of bodies, bombs constantly exploding and routine inspections of neighborhood homes for hidden Jews are just some of what reminded the audience of the seriousness, sadness and horrific acts of the holocaust. As of January 20, 2020, Jojo Rabbit has grossed $23.9M, US and Canada, $20M internationally, for a worldwide total of $43.9M. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 361 reviews, with an average rating of 7.52/10. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Jojo Rabbit’s blend of irreverent humor and serious ideas definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste—but either way, this anti-hate satire is audacious to a fault. Find out who is living upstairs and what happens to Jojo’s commitment to being a Nazi. I promise you will not like Jojo Rabbit in the beginning but by the end, you will love it. Brilliantly presented, you’ve not seen anything like this movie. Check It Out!
[JOJO RABBIT is Oscar-nominated for BEST: Picture, Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Film Editing, Production Design and Adapted Screenplay — TOTALLING 6 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adolf hitler, alfie allen, Archie Yates, Captain Klenzendorf, Deertz, Elsa Korr, Finkel, Fräulein Rahm, Hitlerjugend, johannes "Jojo Rabbit" Betzler, JOJO RABBIT, Rebel Wilson, roman griffin davis, rosie Betzler, sam rockwell, scarlett johansson, stephen merchant, Taika Waititi, Thomasin McKenzie, Yorki
Well done Stephen Hopkins, Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis. A horrible situation exquisitely acted and well told. Race issues certainly fits right in to today’s on going battles of racism, hatred and bigotry. Makes me think we’ve learned nothing in the last 80 years. It was quite interesting watching the bigotry of the Nazi regime vs the bigotry of the USA. In the end, money and power prevailed. The same as today. There are many, many lessons to be learned from a movie like Race but I fear we’ll learn what we always learn and so the beat goes on the same as it always has. There in the 1930’s we have a man, deemed as the fastest human alive, who could escalate the US to new heights in the Olympic games and we have people on both sides hating the fact that “the man” is Black. It doesn’t matter the accolades we (the US) are about to achieve, only that “the man” is Black. Against all odds, we put him in the race but the country holding the games is worse than we are. They hate Blacks but even more than Blacks, they hate Jews. Having to sit through this racism made me sick and angry. It made me want to jump into the screen and strangle those responsible for stirring up this bigotry. The whole thing is just so senseless and stupid. People fighting because they were born Black or Jewish. How dumb is that and what a waste of time. What is one suppose to do about who they are, as if there’s something wrong with who they are? Jesse Owens should have been able to concentrate on nothing else but winning but instead had to deal with both this own country and the country where the races were being held discriminating against him. After all was said and done, he couldn’t even get a job to support his family. Here is a man who represented his country in the 1936 Olympics and won 4 gold metals but couldn’t get a job because of his skin color. Then you’re criticized for being a lazy non-working bum. This is a bitter pill to swallow. Race really brought out how screwed up the society is and how willing we are to sweep it all under the rug. A dinner was held in Jesse’s honor but he couldn’t go in through the front of the hotel where the dinner was being held. He had to use the service entrance. It’s very hard to sit through movies that cause us to relive this part of history, especially when it’s still happening. I commend Jesse Owens for his abilities, achievements and for holding it together when most would have lost it. Watching Jesse Owen’s struggles from the onset of his career as an Olympian to his bitter sweet victory when a doorman wouldn’t allow him to come in the front entrance of a hotel where he was being honored was a reminder that there’s much work to be done. Freedom begins in your heart.
Strongly acted movie with loads of historic information surrounding the 1936 Olympics and Berlin where the games were held. The relationship between Jesse and his coach was extraordinary and the issues between the team and Jesse Owens was also very interesting. “Race” is a movie worth seeing. Performances by Jeremy Irons as Avery Brundage whose actions cost the only Jewish candidates their participation in the games and Barnaby Metschurat as the German Chancellor, Joseph Goebbels who said “do you expect Hitler to be photographed shaking hands with that” (that meaning Jesse Owens) were outstanding.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged 1936, adolf hitler, avery brundage, barnaby metschurat, berlin, german chancellor, germany, Jason Sudeikis, jeremy irons, jesse owens, joseph goebbels, olympics, race, racism, stephan james