Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
2019 list - Click HERE
It’s one of those films you just have to get back to eventually. Taika has grown on me so much over the years. He started out as an extremely talented up-and-coming Director, and he has turned into one of the most legitimate filmmakers within the industry. He is also one of my personal favorites. I’ve heard nothing but amazing stories surrounding this man in real life, so he has that going for him, but he’s also just multi-dimensional as a talent. He can direct, write, act, and produce. His momentum is unstoppable, and this film was one of his final tasks that had to prove that to me. How do you make Hitler funny? Hitler is a despicable thing. I don’t even want to say human. Taika even said in an interview how much he hated Hitler, which is why he did zero research for this role.
He manages to write this film in a way that gives us hope for humanity, even in the worst situations, and it shows us Hitler through the perspective of a young wannabe-Nazi. This is the perfect way to write it, as this gives him range to do and say what he wants to make clear to the audience (and have us laughing along the way). It’s a clear and evident satire from the get-go; the clone scene is hilarious, and Hitler even eats Unicorn for dinner at one point. It plays on all of these ideas that we have had about these people over the years, but it does it all in a respectful way towards the Jewish community. They definitely have their fun with them, but that’s exactly what it is; it is fun. The line that they had to tip-toe was a tough one, but they nailed it. Not only did Taika nail his role and even knowingly break his accent at times, but the entire cast is amazing.
Davis is excellent as Jojo, McKenzie nails yet another role, Rockwell and his crew play a fantastic role, and Johansson gives me another reason to love her. She is excellent here, and she was absolutely Oscar-worthy all throughout 2019. The story, and “the scene” specifically, is an unexpected heartbreaker. The Comedy is definitely present, but this is what he does best. He balances these two distinctly different tones so well. The script is witty, the music is excellent, and certain shots are gorgeous and poster-worthy. This is just an all-around well-made film. My minor complaints include small pacing issues. I found myself becoming a tiny bit uninterested with certain elements, and the (few) jokes that don’t land are a bit too awkward. I definitely see certain criticisms from some, but I just can’t get on board at all. Someone actually gave this a 0 on Metacritic, and I’m genuinely baffled. I can’t even type what I want to say because opinions will be opinions I guess. I find Jojo Rabbit to be a wonderful, heartfelt, and sweet film.
🔙Calm with Horses