Inspired by Christine Leunens’ international bestseller, Caging Skies (screenplay written by Taika Waititi), directed by Taika Waititi and starring Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi, JoJo Rabbit is the 1940’s coming of age story of a little Nazi-in-training in Vienna who discovers his mother is part of the resistance.
Congratulations to Taika for getting this film made. It is a true passion project that reveals every ounce of care put into it. He says Caging Skies is a more serious read, but he was inspired to satirize the story and give it a more comedic spin.
What a splendid film that tells an original, fresh, hopeful, dark, satirical, funny, inspirational and profoundly sad story. The story has layers of elements that beg for further examination. I feel like I need to see it again, and wouldn’t mind doing so immediately. There are Nazi’s, Hitler, war and destruction, along with coming of age, parent-child relationships, friendships, loneliness, brainwashing, discrimination, societal erosion, humanity, mental health, risk-taking, bullying, standing up for others and what is right, the importance of independent thought, etc. There is so much going on, but it never feels like too much. Every element ties into another one and serves a purpose. In this way, JoJo Rabbit is a masterful work. Kudos Mr. Waititi.
The acting is strong. Roman Griffin Davis in his first-ever professional acting job is the cutest little self-proclaimed Nazi you’ll ever see. Waititi as Adolf is every bit the insecure, self-loathing, narcissist you would expect Adolf Hitler to be/have been – but as terrible as Adolf is/was, this portrayal of him is delightfully hilarious. Picture it… Adolph Hitler with jokes. Who knew it was possible?! A kid whose imaginary friend/role model (talk about being on the wrong side of history!) is Adolf. It’s brilliant! Archie Yates earns an honorable mention as the cute, funny and lovable best friend. Scarlett Johansen does a great job as well.
Ah, Rebel Wilson. I need to talk about Rebel Wilson. Rebel Wilson sometimes feels as though she is trying too hard here. I don’t feel her character needed to be used to “punch the comedy up” on an already funny film. It is equal parts the writing for this specific character and the performance feeling forced that was the problem for me. Nearly every time she spoke I felt like I wasn’t watching the same movie. For me, most times when she spoke her character caused these unexpected disjoints in the film; interrupting the flow every now and again with a line or two; then back into the movie I went as soon as she was done.
At any rate, JoJo Rabbit earned 9.5 out of 10 bloops. It may not be for you, but what I saw is funny, original, fresh (God knows Hollywood needs some freshness!!!), intricately complicated, but effortlessly and masterfully executed, well written, well-acted and well shot. The movie inspires me to read the book because I need to see how Waititi translated all of this information and how he changed the original work to get it all into this movie. The machination of this man’s mind intrigues me. But for Wilson’s character this movie would have earned 10 out of 10 bloops. So close… Still, I really enjoyed it.
As with any review, I always advise you take my opinion with a grain of salt. We all know everything isn’t for everyone, and remember, I am the woman who gave The Lobster a 10 and still stands by that 10 – If that helps you make up your mind at all. Happy viewing!
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
What I’m seeing next…
I am still way, way behind in my movie viewing/reviewing. Please hang in there with me while I work on posting all the content I have written up while catching up.
What I’m watching next
I’m too far behind to say.
Other Reviews (Please excuse the look of this section. It is STILL a work in progress.)
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
If Beale Street Could Talk
What Men Want
Eighth Grade Vice Roma
Mary Queen of Scots Widows The Favourite
Green Book Halloween Nobody’s Fool
Bohemian Rhapsody Beautiful Boy The Hate U Give
First Man Assassination Nation The Oath
A Star is Born The House with a Clock in Its Walls A Simple Favor
The Predator BlackkKlansman Support the Girls
Peppermint Christopher Robin Crazy Rich Asians
The Happytime Murders RBG Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sorry to Bother You
You Were Never Really Here
Rampage A Quiet Place Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time Lady Bird I, Tonya
The Florida Project Black Panther Molly’s Game
The Post Phantom Thread Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World Coco The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water Marshall The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul Thor: Ragnarok Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother! It Good Time
Atomic Blonde Dunkirk Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming The Big Sick Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me It Comes at Night The Wedding Plan
Wonder Woman Everything, everything King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw Kong: Skull Island Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts A Cure for Wellness Get Out
Hidden Figures Fences Moonlight
Hell or High Water Loving La La Land
Lion Manchester by the Sea Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge Nocturnal Animals Captain Fantastic
Elle Jackie I Am Not Your Negro