Friday, October 25, 2019

Jojo Rabbit is... Wunderbar

Okay, I know it seems odd, but the movie Jojo Rabbit is fantastic. Jojo is a nickname (the character's real name is Johanson) for a 10 year old boy at the very end of World War II in Germany. The war is going horrible for the Nazi's and they are training children to defend the home front.

The deeply disturbing message of these times, children trained to hate and kill, is made light and fanciful by Jojo's imaginary friend Hitler (played by the director for laughs by the ton). And the tone of the movie and the supporting players. Most of the characters see the end of the War coming (albeit, not Imaginary Hitler) and have given into to a sense of pretending all is going well.

(only Jojo can see his imaginary friend, Hitler)
Also adding to the madness (instead of bleakness) is Sam Rockwell as an injured and disillusioned veteran injured at the front, now forced to teach children at a summer camp / training camp. Sam Rockwell, as always, can pull anything off. Even a vain-glorious Nazi self-aware of how he is being used.

The overzealous female administrative assistant, excited to be free of gender limitations as she gets to train these kids for the fatherland, is a scene stealing Rebel Wilson.

Jojo's mother, definitely NOT a committed Nazi is wonderfully played by Scarlett Johanson.

There are other great actors, in fact nearly all the actors are great, balancing the idiocy of war with the bleakness of Nazism. But Roman Griffin Davis, as young Jojo, is the most surprising to me. You know I hate children on stage or in film. They are too cute or too sassy or too just.... to much.

Young Roman is not. He plays a child dealing with fear, wonder, surprise and does not understand the politics of what he is training for.

Go see this now!

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