Ben’s review published on Letterboxd:
Every so often there’s a movie that comes around that is just incredible; one that will surely be remembered as a classic; Jojo Rabbit is that movie.
I want to start this review by saying, 2019 was a brilliant year for films; we got several masterpieces including this, Marriage Story, The Irishman & Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. So picking my favourite movie of last year was really difficult; but I think this might be it.
.... it is it.
There is just so much to explore in this movie that I probably can’t cover all of it in a review without boring people. The cast in this movie are all putting maximum effort into their performances, the standouts to me being Scarlet Johansson, who has had a great few months when it comes to her movies and Roman Griffin Davis who plays the title role “Jojo” in his first ever on-screen performance, you’d never be able to tell though, as he is really great at his portrayal of the character and deserves all the praise and nominations.
As for the screenplay, it may be the funniest of the year. Hitler is portrayed as an idiot, with the mental capacity of a pre-teen, which makes for some laugh-out-loud moments and the humour, which is very smart, fits the time period perfectly. I also thought Jojo’s relationship with his mother was very well-written. The cinematography really helps us understand what these characters are feeling - with the camera slowly zooming in or quick cuts when Jojo is afraid/anxious/embarrassed for example.
The character development is, in my opinion, the most important part of the movie. Despite being 11, Jojo has some very extreme political ideologies and viewpoints, but after discovering the Jewish girl in his attic, his worldview begins to change. You can really see this happening throughout the film. As Jojo becomes closer friends with Elsa and realises the horror of war.
It’s heartbreaking, hilarious, feel-good, and most importantly a masterpiece.