Justin Cooper’s review published on Letterboxd:
Jojo Rabbit is such a unique film. One that deals with very familiar subject matter but feels new and creative. This is a coming-of-age film in the truest sense but it feels more important than most in that genre. This truly is an anti-hate satire film that is unlike any movie I have seen in years.
I didn't know Taika Waititi was capable of making a film like this. I have seen a few of his films but I wasn't prepared for this type of movie with this level of emotion. The film changes in tone fast and furiously but it never felt jarring. Thats due to a fantastic screenplay and his excellent direction. It seems generic to say that a "movie will make you laugh and cry" but with Jojo Rabbit it is true. The brilliance of it is, is that all the scenes that make you laugh, make you cry harder and all the scenes that make you cry, make you laugh harder. The emotion, both good and bad is palpable throughout the film and I just thought the movie as a whole was beautiful. I know that this is a very extreme thing to say but its true: there is no one else who could've directed this movie as well as Taika Waititi did.
Taika also did amazing in his role as Adolf Hitler. Taika naturally brings a lot of laughs and boy is he hilarious. But he also has moments that allowed him to become scary. I don't think his name should be counted out of the running for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Scarlett Johansson also should get some recognition for this performance. She has proven that she is an incredible actress but I adored her in this movie. She had such a comforting presence as Jojo's mother and she made me feel safe as if I was her son. It's a more subtle and layered performance than what most people might realize but I think she did amazing. Almost the same exact praise can be directed towards Sam Rockwell as he was also amazing. Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant (who is absolutely intimidating here) and Archie Yates all add to the charm of the film as well.
The real stars of the film are the two young leads. Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo is simply incredible. It's even more incredible once you realize that this is his first acting performance ever. He perfectly portrays Jojo as this naive boy but pulls off the journey his character goes on so expertly that it felt so real. His performance keeps the movie together because if he wasn't this good, then the movie would fall apart. Instead he balances the emotional weight and the pure joy that he has to carry with such skill that I can't wait to see what he does next. His chemistry with Thomasin McKenzie who portrays Elsa is so warm and heartfelt too. Thomasin is just as good as he is and is clearly an actress to keep our eyes on.
Overall, Jojo Rabbit is a beautiful and wholly original film that gave me a movie experience unlike any I've had before. I have seen plenty of Nazi films and Holocaust films but none of them are like this. The screenplay is utterly fantastic, the performances were outstanding and the direction is visionary. This movie is anti-hate and much like its message I think this movie will become timeless. This is a modern classic and one that I'm betting will be lauded for years to come.
Best Scene: There are so many great scenes throughout this movie but my favorite has to be when Jojo and his mother argue at dinner and she acts like herself and his father. It was absolutely amazing and beautiful.
Honorable mention goes to the scene involving german shepherds. If you've seen it you know how good this was.