Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

“You’re not a Nazi, Jojo. You’re a ten year old kid who likes swastikas and likes dressing up in a uniform and wants to be part of a club. But you are not one of them.”

I was so cautious of seeing Jojo Rabbit in theaters. The premise sounds entirely inflammatory and I really didn’t want to spend the money on going to the theater only to walk out halfway through from how insensitive it portrayed what was going on in Europe during WWII. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

This movie is the best satire I’ve seen short of maybe Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove but this seems just as, if not, wittier. That’s done in large part from Rebel Wilson’s character and her ridiculousness with every line. Sam Rockwell is in his textbook role, except this time with two different colored-iris. My favorite role is ScarJo, who I have to also recant my earlier disappointment when she receives nominations for both Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. Willing to go out on a limb and say I preferred her in this over MS. A quiet performance done expertly. Her slap comedy (literally when she slapped Rockwell across the face), her taking on the role of single mother (and in one circumstance, with an ashen beard, the father), and her restrained form of rebellion form the ethos and act as the external conflict form which our JoJo gets to interact with. Her sudden death is...the most gagged I’ve been in years.

Then there’s Jojo himself. A boy with an undying need to please Hitler with a soft-heart, he is as a kid should be depicted. No expert, a fan of the grandiose explanation, and always presuming what is told is truth, Jojo encounters his own strife and his journey to self-discovery about the fallacies and lies of the Nazi party takes us through many comedic bits. The surface is a comedy but at the heart of Jojo Rabbit is a story of one kid who, against all his teachings, learns to unlearn his prejudice.

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