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TIFF 2019: First Reactions to Taika Waititi’s ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Are Jaw-Dropping


Taika Waititi‘s hotly anticipated “Jojo Rabbit” saw its World Premiere on Sunday night at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Already positioned as a potential Academy Award player here on the site, did festival goers agree? Well, it sure seems like Fox Searchlight has an Oscar contender on their hands.

The cast, in addition to Waititi himself, consists of Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett JohanssonThomasin McKenzie, Stephen MerchantSam Rockwell, and Rebel Wilson. Waititi directs and adapted the novel by Christine Leunens, with cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr., along with a score from Michael Giacchino.

jojo rabbit

The plot for “Jojo Rabbit,” via IMDb, is as follows:

A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

First reactions to the film at TIFF, via Twitter, suggest an almost entirely successful effort by Waititi. In fact, if this is the consensus that continues to build, it may be impossible for Oscar voters to ignore it.

Our own Shane Slater was moved by the movie:

The same could be said for our very own Audrey Fox:

Stuart Oldham of Variety was over the moon for it:

Gregory Ellwood loves Jojo:

Danielle Solzman calls it an all-timer:

Peter Howell has some huge praise to share:

Katey Rich praised the child acting within the film:

Erik Davis had this to say:

Max Cavill found the flick to be rather powerful:

Ashley Menzel was as taken with it as everyone else, perhaps even more so:

Joshua Rothkopf makes a very interesting comparison:

Leah Greenblatt was surprised how well the concept was executed:

David Ehrlich did not find himself charmed like others were:

Alison Willmore had a muted reaction:

Brian Truitt sums it up nicely:

What do you make of the first reactions to “Jojo Rabbit” out of TIFF? Could this be a major Oscar player? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.


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