Panorama | Special Presentations
Having previously weaponized his wit against the conventions of vampire movies in What We Do in the Shadows and burlesqued the clichés of superhero stories in Thor: Ragnarok, comedian-cum-auteur-director Taika Waititi puts his powers to more serious ends with Jojo Rabbit, a provocative and affecting portrait of a Hitler Youth (Roman Griffin Davis) and his relationship to a peculiar imaginary friend: none other than the führer himself. But when Jojo discovers that his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic, this precocious, misguided boy must confront his blind allegiance to nationalism and question the devil who continually whispers in his ear.
Riffing on previous portrayals of the supreme leader by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Mel Brooks while adding his own distinctive twist to the character, Waititi leads an all-star cast, which also includes Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson, with performances that won’t be forgotten come Oscar time. Defying conventional classifications while skewing fascist groupthink, Jojo Rabbit may just be one of the defining satires of our time.