Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

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bdsweeney
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:09 pm

Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#76 Post by bdsweeney » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:33 am

This isn’t quite the maudlin mess I thought it could be (and it isn’t offensive) but it isn’t particularly good either. Someone earlier in the thread used the word inert to describe the film and that’s pretty much correct. The majority of scenes (humour but especially the drama) just play out on screen to little or no effect. This is mainly due to the director never properly settling the tone and many of the dramatic beats being so predictable.
In terms of comedy, I thought only Sam Rockwell aimed his performance well and got some low-level chuckles from me. On the other hand, Johansson, Alfie Allen and the kid with the spectacles were poor. And Thomasin McKenzie was great other than when the script required her to mug a bit.
Mainly, for a film that’s receiving largely audience rather than critical praise, I just found it pretty meh (and certainly didn’t earn its use of a certain song at the end).

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Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
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Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#77 Post by Finch » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:12 pm

Jojo Rabbit is Reverse Shot's Biggest Offense of 2019.
If it’s unthinkable for me, sitting here in an open-plan corporate marketing office in the last days of the second decade of the 21st century, to identify with the awful passivity of victimhood, surely it’s even more so for a multimillionaire celebrity like Waititi to feel himself inside that waiting, that dependence, that powerlessness. Elsa has no agency, a terrifying and alienating prospect if you bother to think about it, which is probably why my grandmother preferred not to, and why Waititi, despite his Jewish heritage, places us inside the headspace of the pimpf who sees Elsa first as subhuman, then as an object of Oedipal erotic fascination, and gradually as a real person deserving of compassion.

Taken to its logical conclusion, this should be a warning. Yet JoJo Rabbit is anything but a warning. It's an empathy machine gone into autopilot override, and the only obstacles to our pity for JoJo are naughty-naughty jokes in a sweet lispy coating, and celebrity-roast caricatures of Nazis as “vaguely effeminate.” JoJo Rabbit ends with a Live Laugh Love meme and two kids dancing like no one from the Gestapo is watching. The audiences who’ve embraced it should really be asking themselves why Waititi makes it so we have an even easier time identifying with a Nazi than JoJo has identifying with a Jew. —Mark Asch

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Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#78 Post by Brian C » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:01 am

Finch wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:12 pm
The audiences who’ve embraced it should really be asking themselves why Waititi makes it so we have an even easier time identifying with a Nazi than JoJo has identifying with a Jew. —Mark Asch
I'm not being obtuse when I say that I don't understand this line of criticism at all. Why shouldn't an audience have an easier time identifying with JoJo than JoJo has identifying with a Jew? God help us all if our empathy abilities aren't more developed than a 10-year-old Nazi's.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#79 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:52 am

Brian C wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:01 am
Finch wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:12 pm
The audiences who’ve embraced it should really be asking themselves why Waititi makes it so we have an even easier time identifying with a Nazi than JoJo has identifying with a Jew. —Mark Asch
I'm not being obtuse when I say that I don't understand this line of criticism at all. Why shouldn't an audience have an easier time identifying with JoJo than JoJo has identifying with a Jew? God help us all if our empathy abilities aren't more developed than a 10-year-old Nazi's.
It's especially funny given that his very first sentence is about how impossible it is for us in the cushy modern world to identify with a victim like Elsa.

Poor Waititi can't win. How dare he think he can identify with victims, and how dare he not identify with victims.

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Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#80 Post by Luke M » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:44 am

I thought this was almost Cats-level awful. It was not funny which I didn't expect considering What We Do In The Shadows and a lot of Thor Ragnarok was hilarious. The performances were poor, mostly I thought Scarlett Johansson was the best part and I don't know if she was actually good or just good compared to everyone else. I don't quite understand all the praise it has received. Its somehow even less deserving of it than 1917.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#81 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:31 am

Image

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#82 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:05 am

I honestly have no idea why ScarJo was nominated for this over so many other great supporting parts this year, other than because
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she dies, and more specifically is killed by nazis, which is sad

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soundchaser
No longer chasing skirts
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Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#83 Post by soundchaser » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:10 am

ScarJo is the worst part of the film, and it's baffling to me that she was nominated for it over Thomasin McKenzie. (I thought it was largely fine otherwise.)

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Grand Wazoo
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:23 pm

Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#84 Post by Grand Wazoo » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:17 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:18 pm
Anyway, I think this might be my least favorite movie... I dunno, ever? More to come when I have time.
I've thought about this for some time and essentially agree with mfunk's hyperbolic-but-not-quite statement. I know I've seen objectively worse films but haven't actively disliked something to this degree in a long while. I actually saw this back in November as the opening night movie at the Hawaii Film Festival, and like mfunk I was in a massive sold out theater that roared with laughter, loving every mystifying second. I've rarely felt more outside the consensus as practically nothing worked and almost no joke landed for me except for Archie Yates' who I found genuinely funny. Scarjo is insufferable and Waititi's attempts at gravitas fail miserably, especially his eventual turn into Standard Screaming Bad Man Hitler.
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I thought the final battle was the worst offender as we are supposed to see the horror brought about by this ideology via the bloody mayhem engulfing everyone (including numerous children), but it's still shot in that glossy slo mo Hollywoodized style that so much of the film has. It never feel much different than a cable tv battle scene and completely squashes its presumed intended effect. Every punch feels pulled throughout and I think the major change from book to film mentioned by Knives re: the effect of the grenade on Jojo's appearance summarize my issues with the film as a whole, as it's far too timid to Go There. Even Degrassi would Go There! This feels like an adult version of that old cartoon Histeria!


It all feels like a spectacularly tame critique, and I can't think of anything less engaging and unnecessary than a lighthearted poke at nazis. I think it's all made worse in my eyes in that I loved What We Do In The Shadows and Waititi is obviously a gifted comedic director who ends up using his powers for evil here. Not a fan!

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

#85 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:23 pm

I just saw the film this past Wednesday and enjoyed it more than most here, but I can't disagree with many of the criticisms. Everything is played too lightly for the film to rise above being merely amusing and this story demands the film to be something more than amusing. I found some of the ideas inspired (especially how the German versions of pop songs were used) and the child performances to be decent. The few times the tone turned more darkly satirical worked for me, but even with the often flippant approach, the middle portion of Jojo Rabbit becomes heavily repetitive with its one-note riffs on "Jewish evil".

In what strikes me as an extraordinary coincidence, I watched the final forty minutes of The Cremator on the Criterion Channel after returning home from the theatrical screening of Jojo only to discover...
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...that both films feature a shot of the protagonist attempting to tie the shoe of a hanged woman!
I have to think the moment in Waititi's film is directly inspired by the shot in The Cremator. Or, if that action is described in the source novel, then I'd say the author must have been inspired by Juraj Herz's film.

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