Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★★

The gold standard in balancing tone. Waititi manages to achieve comedic highs, but always gives us room to settle before he hits us with powerful emotional beats. On rewatch it’s all the more obvious that Roman Griffin Davis gave the performance of a lifetime, and I really can’t wait to see where he goes from here. I also noticed that Yorky does not actually have much screen time, so the fact that he stands out so much is really a testament to the character that Archie Yates crafted. That same goes for Rebel Wilson, absolutely nailing every brilliant line that’s handed to her. And her scooting across that bench is a thing of beauty.

This time I really tried to pay attention to Sam Rockwell's character and I have a hard time understanding why some folks have a problem with it. I get that a film from Taika Waititi would probably not be the most appropriate tribute to the thousands of homosexual men and women persecuted by the Nazi Party, but if you’re watching a Waititi movie a Waititi tribute is what you get. The depiction of someone not being able to reveal their true self and having to pretend to be someone they're not to survive just makes perfect sense to me, and I think Rockwell portrays that beautifully here. Alfie Allen’s performance is a bit less nuanced, but Waititi gave him the leeway to depict that character as he saw fit and I applaud him for it. Brian Tallerico at RogerEbert.com said that Rockwell’s character had a “tone-deaf ending,” and I don’t buy it at all. Why are we so afraid of redemption? I’m not saying he’s a hero or anything, but understanding a villain’s motivations is an important step to make, and every chance he had Captain Klenzendorf did what he could to help someone when they needed him, and I don’t think that’s tone-deaf in the least. Plus, when the end was nigh, Klenzendorf faced death in an outfit he designed himself, that's just plain cool.

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