Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★★★½

I love this goddamn movie!!! It's hard to explain to people how one of--if not your favorite--films is about a kid whose imaginary friend is Hitler, but there's just something about this that really strikes a chord with me. I think a big part of that is Taika Waititi's mastery of happy-sad cinema: this film is identifiably light-hearted, and then pulls out the rug from under you with an emotionally devastating third act, still somehow sticking the landing with an uplifting ending. Those swift one-two emotional shifts hit harder than a statically sad film, and for that reason, I consistently cry like a baby throughout the last 20 minutes every time I watch this.

I really understand how this isn't for everyone. In fact, I didn't love it until months after I had first seen it. But every time I rewatch this now I find more reasons that I think it's brilliant. It is so densely packed with both humor and extreme emotional intelligence. It's a story about growing up and rejecting hate, about the love between kids and their parents, about the horrors of war. Each performance is deeply realized on the spectrum between comic and dramatic, and Waititi has an excellent attention to detail that makes these characters--especially the three leads--feel real. Even on my seventh (eighth?) watch, I picked up more details about Jojo's psyche than I had before. His loneliness, his self-esteem, his path to maturing, are all displayed in brilliant ways. 

The film looks beautiful, is wonderfully paced, and is otherwise extremely solid from a technical standpoint. Michael Giacchino is one of the best composers working in film today, and his score adds so much warmth and texture to this film. I really, really love Jojo Rabbit and Taika Waititi! That's all I got to say about that. Will probably rewatch this many more times this year

• landon • liked these reviews