Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Yes, Jojo Rabbit is silly and sweet. But there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also beautiful and heartbreaking, and deceptively simple.

Small details stand out. The camera panning around the bedroom specifically in clockwise, to establish the passage of time. Inge's birthday, May 7, as a reference to the date Germany surrendered the war. And my favorite: the focus on shoes (Rosie's shoes, Jojo's shoelaces, Inge's ballet slippers, Elsa’s bare feet) as a subtle reference to the haunting, iconic piles of shoes in Holocaust museums.

And Adolf is a gimmick, sure, but as a direct line to Jojo's psyche, he is so cleverly constructed that it's easy not to appreciate. Overhauling your belief system is complicated and messy, full of doubt and confusion and anger, and as that process progresses and shifts throughout the movie, Adolf is a novel way to demonstrate it.

Jojo Rabbit is about stories. Stories a parent tells a child to soften hard truths. Stories we invent to help us understand ourselves. Propaganda, fairy tales, love letters. Stories make up our lives and shape us, for better or worse. To me, this movie did it for the better.

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