The Onyx Staff Talks Film: JOJO RABBIT

By Onyx Staff | 02/05/2020

Jojo Rabbit joins other films nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards at The Onyx Theatre this week in the run-up to the Academy Awards Sunday, February 9, 2020.

New Zealand director Taika Waititi’s film Jojo Rabbit is a zany, rollercoaster of emotions vacillating between delight and boyish terror. This film balances the need for still one more anti-nazi themed film with a view to de-desensitize, and perhaps open for discussion, the personal histories lost through more heavy-handed film treatments of dogma-driven hatred and polarization.

The film Jojo Rabbit is an audacious bit of commentary on the human condition. In part dark comedy and satire with hints of tragedy, this film rewards those looking carefully with a vision of shared humanity that ignores imposed boundaries of hatred and prejudice.

A charming and impeccable performance by newcomer Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo Beztler, and his mother, Rosie, freely-spirited by the incomparable Scarlet Johansson, have only each other to rely on. The film is brightened by Johansson’s whimsical grace as she sweeps and dances around the inquiring Jojo as a protective envelope during the falling times of the Third Reich.

Nothing beats a cast who love nothing more than the art of play on film, so though the story has some moments of confusion, a fantastic cast of characters stand out with restrained slapstick humor to keep the movie rolling. From Rebel Wilson’s pathologically lying female nazi instructor Fraulein Rahm, to Sam Rockwell, true to his character craft, as a one-eyed, washed-out, dispassionate, closeted ex-soldier drunkenly mentoring a bunch of kids how to become warrior nationalists.

Director Taika Waititi’s recognizes Jojo Rabbit is not for everyone. Those who care for quirky, artful indirect statements on the human condition, with plenty of heart, creativity, and humor may find a treasure in this well-cast ensemble film.

-Notes by Audrey, Onyx Staff Member