Allison M. 🌱’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Your face might scare the other kids."
I had such mixed feelings about this that I planned not to watch it at all. However, life had other plans. The exaggerated way the Germans greet each other with "Heil Hitlers" is not unlike the way the workmen sing their "Bonjours" in the French movie Les Parapluies de Cherbourg/The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Meant to be a "satire" on the holocaust, I really didn't think I'd find the subject matter to be the least bit amusing. Jewish character Elsa, Thomasin McKenzie, outsmarts Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who is completely brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda. It mainly works. Rosie, Jojo's Mom, is played by Scarlett Johansson; I like her here where she plays a kind, compassionate woman better than in Marriage Story where she plays a selfish woman who can't come to terms with what her partner wants.
I had a problem from the get-go with the music that didn't properly represent the time period. I prefer authenticity and this reeked of trying to appeal to a modern-day audience at the risk of not portraying things as they truly were. Sure, it was a satire, but consider me not amused in that respect.
Another thing I had mixed feelings about was Jojo's idolization of Adolf Hitler. He turns to him for imaginary advice, just like Woody Allen's character does for Humphrey Bogart in Play It Again, Sam. We've seen it done before. Yes, it comes from a non-Nazi perspective. But the main reason I avoided the film in the first place was that I just didn't want to see a kid romping with Adolf Hitler through the woods. Still, Roman Griffin Davis' talent shone through, and he is an energetic, young actor who is poised to become a huge star one day.
-Egg is shot
-Jojo is asked to kill a rabbit
-Rabbit is strangled
-Adolf Hitler has unicorn for dinner
-References to meat, cheese, and bacon
Compassion is shown toward an animal.