15 votes

I just want to take a minute to talk about Jojo Rabbit

Two nights ago I decided on a whim to watch Jojo Rabbit on Disney+, since I love Taiki Waititi, and I remember hearing good things about it when it was first released a few years ago. But, weirdly, I didn't actually know much about it other than him having directed it.

So imagine my shock, horror, and surprise when I finally started watching it and learned it was a comedy-drama about a Hitler youth!!! I thought it was just about boy scouts or something, similar to Moonrise Kingdom. And I was even more surprised when I almost immediately got over my shock and started enjoying it despite how dark and touchy the subject matter was. It had just the right amount of irreverence for the subject to get me past my initial hesitance, and had enough deeply human, incredibly touching, and painfully poignant moments to get me completely engrossed in it. And by the end I was crying like a baby when he noticed the shoes, and again in the final scenes. (keeping it vague in case others haven't seen it yet)

Several days later and I'm still thinking about it. That's how deeply it affected me. So, needless to say, I highly highly highly recommend watching it, if you haven't seen it yet... especially in light of recent events in Russia and Ukraine, which a lot of the things shown in the movie sadly remind me of.

Has anyone else here seen it? If so, what did you think about it?

p.s. Taika Waititi as Hitler was insanely, darkly hilarious, and the final scene with him was incredibly satisfying. "Fuck off, Hitler!"

16 comments

  1. [6]
    cloud_loud
    Link
    It was one of my favorite movies of the year. It’s interesting that you say you heard good things about it. I’m assuming that comes from it’s Oscar nominations and win for Waititi’s Screenplay....

    It was one of my favorite movies of the year. It’s interesting that you say you heard good things about it. I’m assuming that comes from it’s Oscar nominations and win for Waititi’s Screenplay. But it actually had a pretty middling critical reception. A 58 on Metacritic, the lowest score out of all the Best Picture nominees of that year including Joker. But it was way more of an audience thing, since it won TIFF’s People’s Choice (which has also been won by stuff like Belfast and Green Book).

    I loved it. I love Taika Waititi’s voice and style. The way that he frames his shots, the way that he cuts for comedy and uses the same editing techniques to instill drama (here’s a quick breakdown of the editing). I also love the score by Michael Giacchiono.
    The performances from both Johansson and Rockwell are so beautiful and heartbreaking.

    At the time there was talk about how it was “problematic” because it was humanizing Nazi’s or something, and that was all just nonsense. The same nonsense that said that Joker was some sort of Incel manifesto.

    6 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I don't really follow any of the various film awards, or read any movie review publications either. So when I say I heard good things, it usually means from friends/family, or mentions on social...

      I don't really follow any of the various film awards, or read any movie review publications either. So when I say I heard good things, it usually means from friends/family, or mentions on social media.

      100% agree about Johansson, and Rockwell's acting too, but IMO Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo) also deserves massive kudos as well. I usually struggle to enjoy kid actors' performances in movies, but not this time. He knocked it out of the park!

      I also love Waititi's directing too. What We Do In The Shadows is one of my all-time favorite comedies, and Thor: Ragnarok is one of my favorite Marvel films. But TBH, this time I almost felt like he was channeling Wes Anderson more than anything, since the framing of the shots, overall colour palette, and absurd tone was very reminiscent of his work... which is not a bad thing at all since I love Wes Anderson too. :)

      4 votes
    2. [4]
      Protected
      Link Parent
      I discovered today after looking at a friend's list that several movies I really enjoyed have a metascore in the 50s. I think there are just a lot of people who can't get out of their comfort...

      I discovered today after looking at a friend's list that several movies I really enjoyed have a metascore in the 50s. I think there are just a lot of people who can't get out of their comfort zone. When in doubt, it's best to see by yourself rather than rely on third party criticism.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Speaking of comfort zones, the one that really saddens me is that so many people seem unable to appreciate slow-burn movies or character studies, and can only enjoy fast-paced, action packed...

        Speaking of comfort zones, the one that really saddens me is that so many people seem unable to appreciate slow-burn movies or character studies, and can only enjoy fast-paced, action packed stuff. And as a result of that, ironically, whenever people say a movie was "boring" that's usually a solid indication that I will actually enjoy it.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Protected
          Link Parent
          Just experienced that today with my anime group (that I am only informally attached to these days). They seem more biased in favor of more formulaic shows that are more immediately satisfying, and...

          Just experienced that today with my anime group (that I am only informally attached to these days). They seem more biased in favor of more formulaic shows that are more immediately satisfying, and slower episode 1s and 2s have been classified by some as "boring". It annoys me especially when I have previously recommended the show in question.

          4 votes
          1. cfabbro
            Link Parent
            My all-time favorite anime is GITS:SAC, which despite having a fair amount of action is also full of long, philosophical musings and exposition, which a few of my friends ended up complaining...

            My all-time favorite anime is GITS:SAC, which despite having a fair amount of action is also full of long, philosophical musings and exposition, which a few of my friends ended up complaining about after they watched it on my recommendation. What they hated about the show was what I liked best about it. So I feel you.

            1 vote
  2. smores
    Link
    I fully expected to love this movie going in, and there were many parts of it I did love, but there were also definitely some moments that I couldn’t enjoy. Like… not because they were bad...

    I fully expected to love this movie going in, and there were many parts of it I did love, but there were also definitely some moments that I couldn’t enjoy. Like… not because they were bad film-making, or in poor taste necessarily, but because they triggered some deep set sense of discomfort I wasn’t totally prepared to confront given the tone of the movie. Occasionally one of the kids would make an offhanded comment about wanting to murder Jews and my gut churned. I’m Jewish, I’ve been to Holocaust museums, I’ve read accounts and histories of the Holocaust, the horror and indoctrination is not new to me. But something about watching Jojo yearn aloud to stab a Jew was genuinely terrifying for me. There was a brief moment where it felt like everyone who was watching was laughing, and I was just looking at my other Jewish friend, and they looked exactly how I felt: “Oh, fuck.” I am kind of curious if any other Jews watched it and had any similar feelings. This isn’t an indictment of the movie, to be clear, it’s just been a long time (maybe since middle school) where I’ve been that aware of my own Jewish-ness in public, and it wasn’t super comfortable. I thought the premise of the movie was brilliant, the kids were fantastic, and Thomasin McKenzie was especially brilliant. Just left me feeling a little unsteady afterwards.

    6 votes
  3. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    I knew some of the details, specifically it's Taika as a child's idealized vision of Hitler, it was about Jojo wanting to be in the Hitler Youth, etc. The major things to hit me were the early...

    I knew some of the details, specifically it's Taika as a child's idealized vision of Hitler, it was about Jojo wanting to be in the Hitler Youth, etc. The major things to hit me were the early impacts of the war on the film.

    The movie definitely left me thinking about it several days after with how different it was than I expected, and the way it handled the themes it did. I like some of the absurd stuff, like when the Gestapo show up and it sort of plays off into a cheap punchline for a movie that desperately needs its humor for what it has and will show you.

    The part that really got me was having Hitler as the devil on Jojo's shoulder, while reality itself acted like the angel. He comes to see the Jewish girl hiding in his attic is just a girl, that what was being glorified as good when done to others sucks when done to his town, and that maybe Hitler wasn't the dude to follow if he was able to cause so much trouble for Jojo's family, town, Germany and the rest of the world.

    4 votes
  4. [6]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Love that movie. It was very underrated on release. The mix of dark humor and emotional moments is just so perfect. The cinematography and editing are so well done too. I love how quickly the...

    Love that movie. It was very underrated on release. The mix of dark humor and emotional moments is just so perfect. The cinematography and editing are so well done too. I love how quickly the feeling of scenes change and the various call backs, particularly the two scenes of Jojo's mother's shoes. The fact that Taiki plays Hitler alone as an indigenous Maori is very funny, but he also brings so much to the character as Jojo's imaginary friend and I really like how he changes as Jojo comes to the realization that "its definitely not a good time to be a nazi".

    In a year with a ton of VERY good movies, Jojo still really stood out to me and impressed me with how unique it was.

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Any other recommendations from 2019? I think the only other movies I saw and really enjoyed from that year were The Lighthouse, and Parasite. But, admittedly, I haven't actually watched many...

      In a year with a ton of VERY good movies

      Any other recommendations from 2019? I think the only other movies I saw and really enjoyed from that year were The Lighthouse, and Parasite. But, admittedly, I haven't actually watched many movies over the last few years due to having so many excellent TV shows to watch instead, so I have no doubt missed a bunch of great movie releases.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Lighthouse and Parasite were fantastic. Knives Out was my top movie of the year and one of my favorite detective stories of all time. I loved the way that Rian Johnson played with genre...

        Lighthouse and Parasite were fantastic.

        Knives Out was my top movie of the year and one of my favorite detective stories of all time. I loved the way that Rian Johnson played with genre conventions, the comedy was brilliant, the story well constructed, and the cast was stellar. The sequel is one of my most anticipated movies on teh horizon.

        I also really enjoyed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was very much a slowburner, but the anticipation of knowing how the story ended in the real world really kept me engaged. There were several scenes that I really liked that impressed with the characterization and depth they brought.

        Us was a very interesting horror follow-up by Jordan Peele to Get Out that was off the wall and very unique. Lupita Nyongo stole the show there for sure.

        Some honorable mentions also to Little Women, which I thought was a very well done adaptation. I loved Greta Gerwig's Ladybird and this was a solid follow-up, though I would like to see another original story from her.

        Booksmart was one of the best teen comedy movies I have seen since Superbad. Like Superbad, it really seemed to capture this exact moment in time for what it was like as a teenager.

        The Farewell was another very touching story and well acted.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Oh yeah, I totally forgot about Knives Out, but it was great! And I have already seen Once Upon a Time... too, but honestly wasn't that impressed by it. I also somehow forgot about Us too, which...

          Oh yeah, I totally forgot about Knives Out, but it was great! And I have already seen Once Upon a Time... too, but honestly wasn't that impressed by it. I also somehow forgot about Us too, which has been on my watch-list forever. So I will have to finally watch it now, along with Ladybird (also already on my watch-list), Little Women, Booksmart (trailer looks funny), and The Farewell too. Thanks for all the recs!

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            dubteedub
            Link Parent
            Yeah, Once Upon a Time was very hit or miss for folks I know that watched it. There were several scenes that I really liked, but if you were looking for a more traditional story it probably was a...

            Yeah, Once Upon a Time was very hit or miss for folks I know that watched it. There were several scenes that I really liked, but if you were looking for a more traditional story it probably was a big turn off with how more random the plot felt.

            1 vote
            1. cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Don't get me wrong, the acting was great, and I really enjoyed several scenes too (e.g. Bruce Lee's fight, and the twist ending). But overall I was just a bit let down by the story, which I didn't...

              Don't get me wrong, the acting was great, and I really enjoyed several scenes too (e.g. Bruce Lee's fight, and the twist ending). But overall I was just a bit let down by the story, which I didn't find particularly interesting. Hollywood "history" = Meh.

              It's weird, since critically acclaimed but general audience divisive movies, especially character studies without traditional plots, are normally ones I actually do tend to enjoy. Not this time though. It was by far my least favorite Tarantino film.

              1 vote
  5. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    I like Taika Watiti's works in general, but this one fell surprisingly flat for me. Maybe I'm just not part of the intended audience for it. I thought some of the jokes were funny, and like others...

    I like Taika Watiti's works in general, but this one fell surprisingly flat for me. Maybe I'm just not part of the intended audience for it. I thought some of the jokes were funny, and like others have mentioned I really liked how the main character's imaginary Hitler changed throughout it, but the whole jokes during the holocaust thing didn't really gel for me.

    1 vote
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Honestly, that's how I initially felt it might go for me too after realizing what the movie was actually about, which is why I was so surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. Even so, I...

      Honestly, that's how I initially felt it might go for me too after realizing what the movie was actually about, which is why I was so surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. Even so, I genuinely still felt guilty laughing at many of the jokes because of how deadly serious and heartbreaking the real life events were. And it was only the heartfelt and serious moments that allowed me to get past that feeling.

      Overall, it was still weird and at times incredibly uncomfortable watching this movie though, which was reminiscent of how I felt when watching Life is Beautiful too.

      3 votes