Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit ★★

More or less indifferent to this in the same way I was indifferent to the film at the centre of the moralising frenzy that surrounded Three Billboards a few years ago. I hang out in the Court of Public Opinion all day every day and fully expected that I would hate this, but found it to be, at worst, inoffensively craven with its subject matter (i.e. the murder of 6 million people). Its biggest crime is probably that it doesn’t have the heart to allow any of its antisemitic jokes to hang in the air for longer than a few beats before deciding to throw in tension-reliever moments that just say “Hey guys! We’re kidding! Of course Jews aren’t subhuman!!” in a manner that reminds me of countless posts in the irony-couched message-boards that I’ve lurked in for the past few decades. If you want to get into indoctrination mindsets and mind-powers, I feel you have to hold your writing steady, own the venom of the message, and trust that your nasty jokes are delivered as terse challenges to the sensibilities of the audience. The woman next to me laughed the hardest at jokes about Jews as greedy bat-winged demons, then often let out a relaxed sigh whenever Jojo and his pals made a contradictory observation, almost as if she felt like she was being forgiven by the film for laughing with, not at, something evil. Why not allow your viewers to sit with the guilt of that feeling for more than a couple of seconds? Everyone on this wet rock of an island could do with some introspection about living under a fascist regime right about now.

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