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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)

How Taika Waititi Balances Emotion and Humor on Film

In films like What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, and Jojo Rabbit, director Taika Waititi has a unique knack for balancing emotional drama with light-hearted comedy.

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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

While not actually physically appearing in the film, Scarlett Johansson does provide a cameo appearance as Black Widow in Taika Waititi's previous film, Thor: Ragnarok (2017) as a holographic message to Bruce Banner/Hulk. 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

Jojo Betzler: Nothing makes sense anymore.
Yorki: Yeah, I know, definitely not a good time to be a Nazi.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
First Hit: A fantastic black comedy that digs deep at the idiocy of the Nazi movement.
12 October 2019 | by michaeldoudSee all my reviews

First Hit: A fantastic black comedy that digs deep at the idiocy of the Nazi movement.

Good black comedies are difficult to come by. In recent years "The Death of Stalin" was one such film. As I wrote the previous sentence, I realized that both films are about corrupt leaders of countries. However, I digress.

In this film, Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a lonely young boy who idolizes Adolf Hitler and his movement. He lives with his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), while his dad is supposedly off fighting for the Germans in Italy.

To support his belief in the Nazi movement, he's created an imaginary Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi) who visits him in his make-believe world. His version of Hitler is off the charts hilarious. Hitler struts around making outlandish statements and sings young Jojo's praises for admiring Hitler and what he stands for.

Jojo and Rosie live in a small German town. All the young boys, like him, are signed up to be part of Hitler's youth corps. His only friend Yorki (Archie Yates), is a slightly rotund young boy with glasses, and together they are heading off to a Hitler youth camp experience.

The boys and girls all gathered together at the camp are dressed up in their Nazi uniforms. They are led through hilarious drills by Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell), a drunken Nazi Youth Camp Leader, and his counterpart, Fraulein Rahm (Rebel Wilson), for the young girls.

One day while in his home alone, he hears noises upstairs and discovers a young woman Elsa Korr (Thomasin McKenzie) living in a secret compartment in the walls of a room upstairs. Elsa is Jewish and is being hidden there by Rosie. Why is his mother hiding a Jew in her home? Then we learn that maybe Elsa may also be a stand-in, of sorts, for his dead sister.

Although Jojo is supposed to dislike and want to kill Jews like Elsa, he discovers that she's not a bad person and that he's falling for her in his own 11-year-old boy way.

Discussing all this with his imaginary Hitler is hilarious at times. The absurd statements and thoughts about what Jojo should or should not do about his captive Jew make pointed jabs at Hitler's insane ideology.

As the film moves along, we sense the end of the war is near, and the German Army is starting to lose the battle against the Russians, Europeans, and US forces. They are closing in which makes Jojo's Hitler even funnier.

The film is quick-paced and moves rapidly from scene to scene. The quick-paced moments are exemplified when the boys at camp and when the war comes to their little town. However, this film knows when to linger. Scenes like when Jojo and Rosie are walking along the river, or when Jojo and Elsa are writing his book about Jews. The film is also deeply touching as shown when Jojo and Yorkie are shown hugging each other several times throughout the film. It was even moving when Captain Klenzendorf saves Jojo from being imprisoned by the allies. Later, when Jojo dances with Elsa, recalling an earlier time when Jojo danced with Rosie. In these moments the film glows. I thought the sets and costumes were fantastic and really captured the heart of the film.

Davis was extraordinary as Jojo. He carried this story with a wide range of feelings, emotions, and actions. Waititi is superb as the innovative imagination of Jojo's Adolf Hitler. He uses sarcasm, expressive physical movement, and whit to define and make this character come alive. McKenzie was sublime as Elsa. Her strength and compassion while attempting to stay alive in a country that reviled her kind was, at times, riveting. Johansson was excellent as Jojo's mother. She embodied someone straddling the line of life and death along with survival and what's right wonderfully. Rockwell was over-the-top perfect for this role. When he carefully validated Elsa's papers, you knew of his heart. Wilson was well cast as Fraulein Rahm, a woman who got away with saying outlandish things. Waititi also wrote and directed this film, and it was clear he knew what he wanted, and he got it, a fun-filled touching black comedy.

Overall: This was an excellent film that also reflected the struggles of the current day.


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