Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far:
Today, The Vern of That Moment In is here to look at the nominee for Best Picture Nominee – Jojo Rabbit.
Picture Nominee – Jojo Rabbit
JoJo Rabbit is a phenomenal motion picture about a kid who learns to be a good person just by simply listening to someone that is different from him. When the movie begins JoJo (played wonderfully by Roman Griffin Davis) is very much into Nazis and finds the whole thing about them to be very appealing. After all his best friend is an imaginary Adolf Hitler (played by director Taika Waititi) who encourages our young fascist to be the best little Aryan he can be.
While he believes his father is gone fighting in the war. All JoJo has left is his mother Rosie (Best Supporting Actress nominee Scarlet Johannson) to look after him. When he finds out that she has been hiding a young Jewish women named Elsa (Thomasin Griffin) in the attic, He feels slightly upset towards her. But not wanting anything bad to happen to his mom or to him, JoJo decides to let Elsa stay if she can help him write a book that will describes who Jews really are so he can give it to the Nazis’ as a guide. It’s through these interactions where we see the prejudicial walls of this young boy begin to tear down.
What makes this film astounding is that you have a main character who is basically one of the worst humans and you make him very sympathetic. There is a great scene when Roman Griffin Davis’ character is given a bunny to kill during Hitler’s Youth Camp and he just can’t do it, which dubs him the name JoJo Rabbit. His progression throughout the movie is astounding and a shame he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar because he deserved it.
Also on the high praise is Scarlett Johansson as Rosie. Here is a woman with a difficult task on her shoes. She is fighting against the people her son idolizes so very much. In one moment with Elsa she says that somewhere inside there is this little boy who just wants to play and not get mixed up in this hate propaganda but he has to be the one to choose it. She can’t make him. So Rosie does her best to show her son Love as best as she can.
Also high praise goes to Sam Rockwell, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates and Thomasin Griffin who brings a lot of strength to her character as Elsa. A girl who knows that she may be in the house with a Hitler supporter but also knows that he is just a little boy who doesn’t have all the facts.
JoJo Rabbit was met with some unnecessary backlash even before it was released. I never understood reviews and posts saying it’s in bad taste to make fun of the holocaust. Taika Waititi’s direction and script clearly shows that he is making fun of the Nazis and Facism. There is nothing about this movie that is making fun of the hardships and the horrors that Jewish people had to face. No, it’s clear from the start he is making fun of Hitler and his followers. But the movie does have moments of tense tear jerking drama only to come back and bring me tears of laughter. Sometimes in the same scene. Those critics who hated this movie, had their opinion set even before they sat down to watch it. I, for one, loved every minute of this movie and thinks its a perfect feature to show students and families.