Even with mixed reviews and a polarizing subject matter, Jojo Rabbit has been announced as the winner of Toronto International Film Festival’s 2019 Audience Award. Director Taika Waititi’s “anti-hate” satire beat out Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite for the win.
The TIFF Audience Award has, in recent years, became an indicator of future Academy Award Best Picture nominations and even some winners. Just last year, the prize went to Best Picture winner Green Book. Previous winners of the award include La La Land, 12 Years a Slave, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Room.
While some critics are not in love with the film – Jojo Rabbit sits at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes – it’s still played for the arthouse crowd, the type of audience voting on this award. We will have to see what happens on release, but this could be another case of critics, and audiences split on the film. Sometimes that works in a movie’s favor for award season, while other times it can end its chances.
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Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) 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.
Jojo Rabbit is set for release on October 18th in the US and on January 1st in the UK. It will also screen at the London Film festival on October 5th.