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Jojo Rabbit (2019)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, War | 18 October 2019 (USA)
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A young boy in Hitler's army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Director:

Taika Waititi

Writers:

Christine Leunens (novel), Taika Waititi (screenplay)
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Popularity
64 ( 7)

Taika Waititi Directed 'Jojo Rabbit' in Costume as Hitler

Director Taika Waititi goes into detail about directing some Jojo Rabbit scenes while in his full Adolf Hitler costume and make-up.

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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roman Griffin Davis ... Jojo
Thomasin McKenzie ... Elsa
Scarlett Johansson ... Rosie
Taika Waititi ... Adolf
Sam Rockwell ... Captain Klenzendorf
Rebel Wilson ... Fraulein Rahm
Alfie Allen ... Finkel
Stephen Merchant ... Deertz
Archie Yates ... Yorki
Luke Brandon Field ... Christoph
Sam Haygarth ... Hans
Stanislav Callas ... Russian Soldier
Joe Weintraub ... Herr Junker (as Joseph Weintraub)
Brian Caspe ... Herr Mueller
Gabriel Andrews Gabriel Andrews ... Herr Klum
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Storyline

A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, violence, and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jojo Rabbit See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell both starred in Iron Man 2 (2010). See more »

Goofs

When Rosie Betzler brings Jojo to the Hitler Youth there is a map hanging on the wall showing modern Germany instead of the Germany during the WW2-period. E.g. without Silesia or East Prussia. See more »

Quotes

Adolf Hitler: You two seem to be getting on well!
Jojo Betzler: She doesn't seem like a bad person.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A heartfelt satire needed for today
18 September 2019 | by GODZILLA_Alpha_PredatorSee all my reviews

Probably one of the most controversial films to come out of TIFF, I went into Jojo Rabbit with cautionious optimism since I am fan of Taika Waititi while still being aware of the divineness it has spawned in some critics. I was pleasantly surprised on how emotional and thought provoking he made this film while still being very funny without going too far.

Jojo is a 10-year old boy who dreams of fighting for his country and making his hero proud. And that hero just so happens to be Adolf Hitler during the final year of WW2. Jojo's blind fanaticism is so extreme he imagines Adolf as his best friend to give him advice, which to no surprise, is not that helpful. After an accident at the Hitler Youth camp, Jojo has to stay with his mother only to discover she is hiding Elsa, a teenage girl who is the very thing his Nazis beliefs have told him to fear and hate: a Jew. As Jojo tries to learn about Elsa's "kind", he begins to sees Elsa as the thoughtful yet scared person she really is and not the monster his beliefs have told her to be.

The smartest thing I can say is Waitia knows when to make a joke about Nazi's beliefs and ideals but then let the bleakness of WW2 set in to embrace the deeper themes and emotions. Within the first act, Jojo sees his world through rose-tinted glasses as he gleefully gives the Nazi salute to his fellow neighbours on a bright sunny day. All of the Nazi characters are heightened and exaggerated for comic relief from Sam Rockwell's Captain Klenzendorf being a tired and annoyed German soldier, Rebel Wilson as the ignorant Fraulein Rahm to Stephen Merchant as the Gestapo agent Deertz. Waititi takes pleasure in making Nazis the but of the joke from showing them being over-committed to saluting each other for just a simple introduction to their obliviousness of believing any stupid fake news they are told came from Hilter himself. Once Jojo settles with Elsa sharing his house, his world begins show its true ugliness as Germany becomes more desperate to hold their ground against the Allied forces. At that point Waititi slows down on the comedy and allows moments of shock and drama to settle in to remind the audience what is the horrible cost of ignorance and blind faith. Cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. switches the color scheme from bright and saturated to cold and grey as the seasons pass to reflect the change in Jojo's state of mind. The parallels to the modern day become very clear without getting too blunt.

The cast plays each of their roles perfectly. Roman Griffin Davis carries the story as a naïve but yet innocence Jojo. Davis is perfectly cast with perfect comedic timing while still being able to sell the emotional beats that are needed. And he has great comedic and emotional chemistry with Thomasin McKenzie as Elsa. McKenzie displays the hardship her character has gone throughout her life and yet still making her fun and sharp-witted when she points out shallowness of Jojo's ideals. Also who is worth mentioning is Scarlett Johansson as Jojo's mother Rosie. Probably the best performance of Johansson I have seen so far, she brings a huge feeling of joy and optimism that is needed to help Jojo's growth as a character. Out of all of the adults that are blind to the horrors the Axis power is inflicting upon the world, Rosie is the only one that is able to see through it and confront it. As for the big question of Waititi himself playing a young boy's interpretation of Adolf Hitler, he handles it very well. His comedic performance is there to show the absurdity of Jojo's brainwashing from the Nazis's teaching. And it helps that he never to tries to humanize the portrayal of his character. There were even a few moments where he becomes a bit more antagonistic towards Jojo as he begins doubting the faith in his idol.

Jojo Rabbit may be a controversial pick if it does get nominated for awards consideration (after I saw it on the last day of TIFF, it surprisingly won the People's Choice Award), but I feel like it is a movie needed for today's political issues. Taika Waititi uses the story of a boy's misguided fantasy and faith to show how easy it is for society to be manipulated into hating minorities, religions and/or groups of people especially when fake news and social media is present. But by the end of the day he shows that compassion and love are still worth embracing in a cruel world so as long as we are able to confront to cruelty in ourselves first.


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