“Jojo Rabbit”: Balancing Heart and Hitler

In preparation for the Oscars on February 9th, the Corral will be reviewing every best picture nomination leading up to the awards.


“Jojo Rabbit” is directed by Taika Watiti and stars Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Watiti, and Sam Rockwell.

Trey Williams, Op/Ed Editor

“Jojo Rabbit” is about a 10-year-old Nazi fanatic who is imaginary friends with Hitler, and somehow this was one of the most wholesome, beautiful movies I have ever seen. 

Written and Directed by Taika Watiti, director of “Thor: Ragnarok”, this movie follows the aforementioned Nazi child Jojo, played by Roman Griffin Davis, after he finds that his mother, played by Scarlett Johansson, is hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa, played by Thomasin McKenzie, all with Hitler as an imaginary friend, played by Taika Watiti. 

This movie is an incredible achievement. With a premise this dark, Watiti was able to make both a tastefully funny comedy and a heartfelt, tragic coming of age story

I loved everybody in this movie. Roman Griffin Davis has a stellar performance as a confused young Nazi fanatic. He has so much range, from hilarious to heartbreaking. Seeing his growth as a character was extremely satisfying.

Taika Watiti playing Hitler was a huge risk. Somehow, it was perfectly executed. Watiti is absolutely ridiculous as Hitler. It’s so silly. Whenever he was on screen, it stole the show for me. Hitler is only in this movie as Jojo’s imaginary friend, which served Jojo’s character growth immensely. The way Hitler changes throughout the movie is enthralling and terrifying.

Every side character was a hit for me. Sam Rockwell’s arc as an alcoholic failed military commander was genius. Scarlet Johansson has been stupid good this Oscar season, pulling in a heartfelt performance as Jojo’s mom. Thomasin McKenzie as the Jewish girl had amazing chemistry with Jojo. Rebel Wilson was hilariously over the top. There was not a single dead weight in this movie. 

I also loved the cinematography. Many shots reminded me of Wes Anderson in style. The camera work also contributed to foreshadowing in an interesting way that becomes apparent later.  

The soundtrack of the movie was hilarious. It featured popular American songs all sung in German. It was a great fit.

Above all, the most impressive thing about this movie is the tone. It genuinely seems impossible. In reality, this is a coming of age story with Nazi Germany as a backdrop. This movie somehow, even through the bafflingly dark comedy and the often heartbreaking story, had a massive heart. This movie was able to find comedy out of the worst in humanity without ever feeling mean spirited. The transition from comedy to tragedy was also seamless; it never felt like one took away from the other. 

If I had any complaints, it would have to be that there were aspects of the story that were unrealistic. Some stuff doesn’t make sense, and it would be pretty easy to pick apart this movie. That’s not something I care about much, but if you want realism, this is not the movie for you. 

This movie was such a good time. It was creative, hilarious, dark, deep, suspenseful, and wholesome all at the same time. I loved all the characters. I loved the dialogue. I loved the social commentary. I loved the acting. I loved the tone. This movie was dense in every positive possible. I highly recommend this movie to everybody. I give this movie a 5/5.