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Sep 15 2019

Silly irreverent "JoJo Rabbit"wins TIFF's People's Choice Award.Is Oscar next?

by Nathaniel R

The Grolsch People's Choice Awards at TIFF has always been a strong omen for good Oscar fortunes.Last yearGreen Bookwas a surprise winner (it wasn't even on most Best Picture prediction charts before the screenings started, it's sudden popularity in the Oscar race came via festival debut with little pre-release buzz).This year's winner is less of a shock to the Oscar system (TFE has at least been predicting it in multiple categories since the April Foolish predictions).The winner for 2019 is Taiki Waititi's "anti-hate satire"JoJo Rabbitabout a young boy and his imaginary friend "Adolf Hitler".Noah Baumbach's moving and surprisingly funnyMarriage Storyand Bong Joon-Ho's brilliantParasite,which both played to packed satisfied houses,were the runners-up.Both of those pictures are also gunning for Best Picture citations come Oscar time,though obviouslyParasitehas a steeper hill to climb to get there given its subtitles as Oscar's hesitancy in embracing Asian cinema.Most of the people I spoke with in Canada were actually predicting thatParasitewould take the win as TIFF had to keep adding screenings.ButJoJo Rabbitit is...

Though the folks at Fox Searchlight are surely celebratingJoJo Rabbit's win the road to Oscar will be much more difficult...

Thomas McKenzie co-stars as the Jewish girl hiding in a little Nazi's attack in "JoJo Rabbit"

Not only is the film a comedy but it's a very goofy satire and one with a tricky tone at that,encompassing both very broad physical comedy and dark dramatic beats in its World War II story.Despite the familiar "awards friendly"subject matter not a single Best Picture winner in history is remotely as (intentionally) silly.

The following bit of stats is amended from what we wrote last year whenGreen Bookwas the surprise winner...

In the entire 41 year history of this prize,stretching FromGirlfriends(1978) throughGreen Book(2018),17 of the winners went on to Best Picture nominations at the Oscars.亚博主页The 41 winners also include 8 future Best Picture winners,6 future Best Foreign Language Film winners,and 2 future Best Documentary Feature winners.

The Oscar correlation is getting stronger.In the past 12 years only 1 of the winners (the Lebanese musicalWhere Do We Go Now?a surprise snub in the foreign film category at the Oscars that year) was亚博主页notBest Picture nominated and 4 of the 12 won Best Picture.A 33% sign that you'll win the Best Picture Oscar is pretty damn good.

Before we unleash our own "awards"portion of our TIFF experience and a couple more review posts as wrap-ups,I would like to draw your attention,briefly,to the six best films I personally screened at TIFF that didn't get written up here (oops).It's a good time to share it as my six favourites actually include all three People's Choice citations (noGreen Bookproblems this year).


Scarlett Johansson is wonderful and Adam Driver delivers career best work in "Marriage Story"

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighorbhood(Marielle Heller) -humane,creative,lovely
  • JoJo Rabbit(Taiki Waititi) - somehow it works
  • Marriage Story(Noah Baumbach) - a complete stunner from start to finish
  • Pain and Glory(Pedro Almodóvar) - wistful,smart,gorgeous
  • Parasite(Bong Joon-ho) - perfectly constructed,wildly entertaining
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire(Celine Sciamma) - ingenious and provocative

The write-ups on these six terrific movies are delayed due to a complex yet boring mix of fatigue,intimidation,internet outtages,time crunch,sickness,and the knowledge that we'll have plentiful opportunities to talk about ALL of these pictures very soon.We will probably have a great excuse to keep talking about them all the way through Oscar season.The only "if"in this equation is reallyPortrait of a Lady on Fire(review half-written!) as we don't know yet know if France will submit it as their representative film in theBest International Feature competitionbut the rest of the titles are good for at least one nomination and probably more.

Thoughts?Are you looking forward toJoJo Rabbit?

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Reader Comments (12)

Jojo Rabbit looks cloying and awful.I'm dreading this season already!

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I'm most looking forward to your take on Judy

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

The trailer for JoJo Rabbit looked so bad and ridiculous,I had no intention of watching it.But after this win and your love for it,I think I'll have to give it a chance.

I've been an admirer of Bong Joon-ho's work for quite some time,and it would be nice to see him get more global recognition with some serious play come awards season;here's hoping this is the year for him and South Korea at the Oscar's.

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Of your six favorites,I'm looking forward to all but JoJo Rabbit.

One question,since you've seen Marriage Story--does Driver's performance of Being Alive indicate that he's a strong enough vocalist to carry an entirely sung movie?The news about Leos Carax'sAnnetteis that it's basically dialogue-free.I know one of my friend's is a very strong musical film/theater fan who has been really disappointed by most recent offerings,including La La Land,and wondered if Driver and Cotillard really had the chops for something like this.

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I'm willing to bet money that JoJo Rabbit will walk away with 0-3 noms and none in BP.It's too damn weird,Taika still isn't a commodity and making light of Hitler is still frowned upon.I'm not even sure I'm gonna watch it because the only Hitler I like is Chaplin or Tarantino style shot 50 times in the face.

September 15,2019 | Unregistered Commenterkris01

I'm very happy that my three favorite films I saw this year at TIFF (with the caveat that I saw Pain and Glory before TIFF and would certainly be up there if I had seen it at TIFF) were cited by the Grolsch...

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Damn it must be good to be Scar-Jo 3:16 to be in not just 2 festival favorites but also in the highest grossing film of all-time.Now she needs to show everyone she is the real ROCKA ROLLA!!!!!!

September 15,2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Scar-Jo 3:16

I don't understand this reference can you explain,maybe it's modern internet speak that hasn't caught on in the UK,Scarlett would certainly be helped in BA for MS if this hits.

September 15,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I'm guessing JOJO RABBIT works,considering how many people SAY it works,but I kind of wish it DIDN'T work.It seems a malady of our PoMo era that everything's good for a laff,and all you have to do to be taken seriously as a profound thinker is tackle some "big"issue--in whatever way you want,as long as you're stylish enough.I'll still never forgive the Academy for giving Roberto Bagnini best actor for the horrible LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL when Ian McKellen and Nick Nolte were RIGHT there on the ballot for career-best work.That particular heartwarming Holocaust film winning Best Foreign Language Film against CENTRAL STATION and CHILDREN OF HEAVEN is only a bit less outrageous.But again,who know?somehow,against all odds,INGLORIOUS BASTERDS turned out to be a defensible piece of popular cinema.

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterDaniella Isaacs

Scar-Jo 3:16,"God so loved the world that he sent us Scarlet Johansson."

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterDaniella Isaacs

Can Scarlett Johansson,having a great day today,capitalize this momentum to an Oscar win?She's having a great year and that worked for Stone and Lawrence,although Johansson (who's the kind of star we all know will win someday) has always been more underrated

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

I loved the idea of JOJO RABBIT when it was announced,but I wasn't sold on it by its trailer.But enough people I follow have seen it and really liked,I guess it's just a bad trailer.

September 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

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