The 92nd Academy Awards are quickly approaching, so very soon we’ll know who will be taking home those treasured Oscars.
In this series, our team of writers take a look at each nominee for Best Picture, stating their case for why their choice should win.
When you think of Best Picture winners, the words to describe these films are usually ‘dramatic’, ‘sobering’, ‘epic’ or ‘emotional’, and if you just added ‘comedic’ to this list, you’d be describing Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit.
The film is first and foremost a comedy, and how often has a comedy won Best Picture?
As a ‘popular’ film in terms of box office results and critical acclaim, Jojo Rabbit would be the movie to break the stale and over used mould the Oscars has become accustomed to.
However, the film does tick the usual Oscar worthy fodder boxes being a war film, featuring a strong bond between family that is cruelly severed, another bond between enemies, it’s set in the past and is an adaptation of a book.
Beyond this, the movie offers so much more, starting with the characters.
Jojo is a 10 year old German boy who is an active and enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth. Although he may not be skilled in the acts of said group, his passion more than makes up for his failures, and he even has an imaginary friend, Hitler himself, who offers ridiculous advice and encouragement. This is how much Jojo loves being a Nazi.
He is also the hero of the story. Played by Roman Griffin Davis, this young boy living on the verge of great change and in a time of war, is torn between what he thinks is right, and what he actually believes in.
Balancing his Hitler Youth duties and trying to protect his mother and complete stranger, his life within the context of the story is ordinary, but his bravery and survival instincts are extraordinary.
As the namesake of the film, Jojo carries the story and takes us with him on his adventures and discoveries, being the emotional heart and soul.
Through him we experience war and the devastating cost, which is needed in a film set during war-time, even though it is a comedy, something rarely seen at the Oscars, which is the reason it should win.
Seen from the Nazis’ side, and told from the perspective of someone so young and loyal, at first it’s a highly unusual setting and location for an Oscar nominated film.
Mixed in is the brilliantly crafted blackest comedy of a satirical nature, that not only makes you want to laugh out loud, but hold in your stomach at the anxiety induced absurdity of the Nazis and what they believed in.
One of the main reasons why Jojo Rabbit stands out from other nominees is due to the director himself taking the role that had everyone talking before the film was even released. Waititi play Jojo’s imaginary friend, Hitler. Just this concept alone deserved attention from the Academy.
A scenario so bizarre and entertaining, the scenes shared between Jojo and Hitler are not just played for laughs. Imaginary Hitler isn’t an emotional guardian, dark turns are made, cruel things are said creating an internal struggle for young Jojo.
The lighter moments are more enjoyable to watch, but the harsh moments are what keeps the film in balance. The spectacle that is Waititi in Hitler mode is, however, one of the best elements in the film.
With a charismatic supporting cast that come with their own quirks and individual styles that don’t over power the leads, Jojo Rabbit is the heart‐breaking and emotion evoking film that the Oscars are crying out for.
Needing to redeem themselves from mediocre choices and predictable winners, seeing a satirical black comedy war film take the top prize would be a step towards progress.
It’s about time the Oscars woke up and awarded a film that is all heart, humour, comfort and pain, and literally voted outside the box.
The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on 9th February. In the UK you can tune at 1am Monday morning.
You can shop our range of the nominated films now.