Stanley Scorsese’s review published on Letterboxd:
On the beginning of Thanksgiving week, I went to see one of this year’s Oscar bait films and has everyone and every critic has been talking about. A wacky satirical WWII film called Jojo Rabbit.
Jojo Rabbit focuses on a German 10 year old boy who joins the Hitler Youth army during World War II. Meanwhile, his mother is secretly anti Nazi, and hides a Jewish girl inside their home, and he has Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend. So the boy must figure out what is morally right and wrong.
This film was highly anticipated because of who was making the film, Taika Waititi, who’s famous for Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows. He goes for making a wacky and satisfying satire on Nazism in the Second World War, and it was hilarious to see how the Nazis were depicted in Jojo Rabbit! But at the same time, it was emotional and thought provoking. This film was like Schindler’s List, and The Diary of Anne Frank mixed in with the likes of Mel Brooks or Monty Python.
The acting from the cast was hilarious and also moving! The young boy who plays Jojo Betzler, Roman Griffin Davis, is terrific! He fits into the role of the naive but innocent kid who’s been brainwashed by the Nazi party. He also has some good comedic and emotional chemistry with Thomasin McKenzie, the young girl who plays Elsa, the Jewish girl hiding in Jojo’s house. She’s proven to be a good actress to showcase her character’s hardships, but also proved to be clever and funny. Scarlet Johansson still proves to be one of the best actresses working in Hollywood today! She is fantastic as Rosie, Jojo’s mother, as she brings a lot of joy and optimism into Jojo’s life and not let him or her be led by racial and ethnic bigotry in Germany.
Also, while being in front and behind the camera, Taika Waititi’s version of Hitler is hilariously done! He brings his share of comedy while showing Jojo the teachings of Nazism, and never tried to humanize Hitler as a human being. It was really satisfying to see him act like a total cartoon character and make the other Nazis act like a bunch of goofy and ridiculous idiots! I thought he did a good job of bringing laughs and heart in Jojo Rabbit, while also saying, “Prejudice and bigotry is wrong, so I’m going to make fun of and ridicule Nazism, while teaching a thought provoking lesson.” And so he did!
The acting was wonderful, the directing was great, the humor and satire was hilarious, and the cinematography was perfect! The only thing I have to complain about Jojo Rabbit is that it goes that way to being artsy fartsy on some of the scenes. You know, being another usual Oscar bait film, so it just wasn’t much of a masterpiece to me. But despite my mixed feelings, it was still a good film, and I recommend it to those who want a good time!
I’m giving Jojo Rabbit 3.5 stars!