preisman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Scavenger Hunt 56
4) Obviously we can't forget The Beatles, so watch a film set in Liverpool. Bethan (with a skull) has a great list, which you can use a starting point!
It's dangerous going into a movie expecting it to be great after hearing from dozens of people saying it is great. Too easily, this could have failed to live up to expectations and been a disappointment. I drove 3 hours to a movie theater to watch this. For some asinine reason, no theaters in San Angelo, Texas wants to play this film.
Happy to say this truly exceeded my expectations. The writing was crisp and hilarious. Even in the darkest of times there is a light of hope and comedy. As with any comedy, there needs to be solid performances from the actors. ScarJo impressed me to no end. She is as funny and she is beautiful. The kids are ridiculous; putting them in an unnatural environment and mixing in comedy is where this film succeeds. Taika nails his part. I was truly worried about how his character would change throughout the film, but towards the end I think the right decisions were made. Sam Rockwell was great as always, but seriously, he needs to stop playing bigots. Rebel was funny, but also really dry and almost uninterested. Maybe that was the point, but there was something missing.
The film spends so much time in an almost fairy-tale world that when reality starts to sink in around Jojo's small town, the realities of the war and the people in his life are exposed in truly heartbreaking ways. No matter the part each character has in his life, it is grueling to see them come back to reality and accept their roles in life.