Taika Waititi’s Hitler comedy Jojo Rabbit needs way more Hitler

Photo: Courtesy of TIFF

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

It isn’t impossible to make a comedy about Adolf Hitler. Mel Brooks got belly laughs out of satirizing the German dictator in his 1967 movie The Producers, and even during the war itself, Hollywood mocked Hitler with movies like the Three Stooges comedy You Nazty Spy! Roberto Benigni’s 1997 Oscar-winner Life Is Beautiful was divisive, but successful — in part because bringing lighthearted playfulness to a concentration camp story was such an unusual choice.

And plenty of things about Hitler himself are ripe for humor: his weird little paintbrush…

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