Jojo Rabbit (2019) Movie Review

Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Taika Waititi (Screenplay) Christine Leunens (Novel)

Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant

Plot: a young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Funny & Heart Breaking

Story: Jojo Rabbit starts when a young boy Jojo (Davis) is going to a camp to learn to be part of the Nazi army being taught by Captain Klenzendorf (Rockwell), he has an imaginary friend in Adolf Hitler (Waititi) who is always there to help him through the difficult decisions. Only the training doesn’t go well, when he ends up nearly blowing himself up, being reduced down to help with the propaganda campaign.

When Jojo learns this his mother Rosie (Johansson) has been hiding a Jewish girl Elsa (McKenzie) in her walls, he gets conflicted on what to do, wanting to follow his leaders beliefs about Jews or learning that Jews are people, not a threat and his leader isn’t everything he believed him to be.

Thoughts on Jojo Rabbit

Characters – Jojo is a young boy that is living in German during World War II, he knows his father went to war and now he wants to do his part, he idolises Hitler having his own version guiding him through the difficult decisions he will face, his life is turned upside down when he learns he has a Jew living in his walls and wants to get to know her before deciding whether to do his duty or not. Elsa is the young lady hiding in the walls of Jojo’s house, she is Jewish which Jojo sees as a threat. She does show Jojo about the truth about how they are both the same and they shouldn’t be treated differently. Rosie is the mother of Jojo, she is raising him alone and she has chosen to let Elsa stay in their home, she won’t risk her own son’s life though, she does know how pointless the war is from what the Nazi’s were planning. Adolf is Jojo’s imaginary friend, he is always around when Jojo isn’t complete sure what to do next in a flamboyant way.

PerformancesRoman Griffin Davis in the leading role here is fantastic, he shows us the breaking of innocence his characters goes through in such a beautiful way, while Thomasin McKenzie is wonderful too, showing the different levels of strength she needs to get through each day in hiding. Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi and Sam Rockwell shine in the supporting roles of the movie too.

StoryThe story here follows a young boy who is living through World War II and wants to be part of the fighting like his father, he is blindly led into believing Hitler is right, showing his passionate following, only to learn the errors of his ways once he finds a Jew hiding in his house. This story is done in a satirical way, it still manages to get the serious side of the story over though, we see just how easily people would have been left blindly follow Hitler, while the true horrors of the war are slowly shown through what happens to Jojo. We are going to get plenty of moments that are enjoyed, plenty that will be emotional broken too. This is done in such a beautiful way that does show the breaking of innocence that Jojo goes through.

ComedyThe comedy in this film is satirical and will give you plenty of laugh out loud moments through the film.

SettingsThe film is set in the small German town which is preparing for an attack during the war, it shows us how they were prepared and still tried to remain the same as normal.

Scene of the Movie – The training camp.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is one of best comedies that will get laughs and shows the horrors of war for the children involved, with heart breaking effects.

Overall: Outrageously Entertaining.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2019 – B – Booksmart (2019) Movie Review

Director: Olivia Wilde

Writer: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman (Screenplay)

Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Victoria Ruesga, Billie Lourd

Plot: On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

Tagline – Getting Straight A’s. Giving Zero F’s.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightful

Story: Booksmart starts as we meet best friends Amy (Dever) and Molly (Feldstein) who are finishing their final day at school with graduation round the corner, they believe they are going to live a better life once they get through college, but when Molly learns that the people they saw party and slack off are going to the colleges as themselves.

Molly pushes Amy into making the last night before graduation to party and make up for the last four years of their lives, including Amy getting her chance to confess her feelings for her love interest, while Molly wants to be accepted by more of her classmates.

Thoughts on Booksmart

Characters – Amy is the quieter of the two friends, she is planning on going to Africa for her next step, before college that would see her following the plan set in stone, she does enjoy her life without the wild parties, happy to follow the crowds, while dealing with being confidently out. Molly is the leader of the pair, she is class president and believes she is going to do better than all the other students. She does push Amy into a lot of different things and does believe they will follow a set path in life. We do meet a host of colourful characters from the high school and the teachers on this final day, that have all been a big part of the lives of the pair for years.

PerformancesThe film is centred on two key performances from Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein who shows exceptional chemistry through the film, they also get to show their talents in the individual moments too, with Dever showing the awkward moments her character goes through while Feldstein shines in the over-confidence moments. Billie Lourd goes close to stealing every single scene in the movie, while the rest of the support cast are flawless.

StoryThe story follows two high school friends who are ready to take the next step of their lives only to learn that they haven’t had as much fun as the other class mates and decide to spend the last night going for a party like the rest of the students, where they face life’s truths. This is a story that shows us that life needs to have fun, people will be there for people when they need them, only the pair need to learn this before it is too late. It is nice to see that the high schoolers are truly horrible to each other, while most of it is like life, you just don’t get on with everybody, but most of the time you just don’t know their story, their lives or anything about them outside rumours. Set in one 24 hour spell it also shows us just how quickly you can learn about life too.

ComedyThe comedy does come from how over the top certain characters are meant to be, without being anything you would expect to see in real life.

SettingsThe film does seem to have a large-scale setting, with all the travelling the characters must do over the single night, it shows how far away the student might live from the school and shows different parties.

Scene of the Movie – Gigi’s boat moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The high school only seems to have one year of students in.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful look at how difficult for life can be for high school students, they are always trying to fit in and stay in their comfort zones, or trying to impress people, it does have the message about making sure you find time for fun in life too.

Overall: Heartfelt teen comedy.