Recently, Taika Waititi won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on the film Jojo Rabbit. After watching the film it’s not hard to see why. This film covers some very heavy material from history and uses satire to make a point that we need to hear today. Not only did Waititi write and direct this film but he also starred in the film as well as Adolf the imaginary friend of Jojo a young boy who is trying to find his place within a well-known regime in the 1940s.
Acting alongside Waititi are young actors Roman Griffin Davis(Jojo) and Archie Yates(Yorkie), boys who are learning what they’re told by a totalitarian regime who is teaching youth to disobey their parents and put everything they have towards their leader’s vision of their country. We also meet Elsa, a young Jewish refugee played by Thomasin Mckenzie who Jojo meets after hearing a sound from the attic. Together Elsa and Jojo learn from one another and become friends despite the barrier that separates them.
Scarlett Johansson who acts as Jojo’s mother, Rosie quietly battle with her son and the ideas that have been placed in his mind by the educators of the regime. Johansson also received an Oscar nomination for her efforts and it’s easy to see that she was a stand out member of this cast delivering powerful messages to her son a boy caught in the crossfire of reality and a vision that doesn’t make sense. When you watch this film ready yourself for an all-star performance that includes strong dialogue, a bit of dancing, and Johansson’s ability to show a powerful presence when it is truly needed.
Finally, I’d like to talk about Sam Rockwell and Alfie Allen’s portrayal of Capitan K and Finkel. Two military men who slowly tumble down the ranks of the regime one disaster after another yet still manage to capture our hearts with their ability to do good things even though they aren’t good people. These two also bring to the forefront of the screen a different group who were oppressed in the 1930s and 1940s by the regime they served and that is portrayed in this film. In the final minutes of this film, these men show us who they are and who they are not afraid to be in the most dangerous of times, themselves.
We’d recommend this film to anyone. Be aware the messages in this film are heavy and portrayed in a very satirical way at times but don’t let the humor getting in the way of you learning from this amazing film.
Catch our episode on Jojo Rabbit anywhere podcasts can be heard.