Orlando Film Festival begins today

The Orlando Film Festival starts today at the Cobb Plaza Cinema Cafe in downtown Orlando and continues through October 24.

Perhaps the festival’s biggest get of this year — or any year — is the Florida premiere of Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit (3 ¾ stars on 0-5 scale). Wonderfully and irresistibly askew in its sensibility, the film is the most eclectic mix of comedy and drama you’re likely to see at the cinema in 2019. Considering the subject matter — a young Nazi (in 1945 Germany) whose favorite buddy is his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler — you’d think the film would be doomed to tasteless failure. But Waititi stirs the dangerous mix of silliness and pathos into the anti-bigotry brew that fits our current zeitgeist, while only occasionally dabbling in his broader, less mature comedy of Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows. (Roman Griffin Davis, as the boy, and Scarlett Johansson, as his mom, are both superb. This marks Johansson’s second triumph of 2019, if you include the upcoming Marriage Story.)

Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi and Scarlett Johansson star in Jojo Rabbit. (image copyright Fox Searchlight)

The film will be playing the festival on Saturday at 8 p.m. (For details, see OrlandoFilmFest.com and OrlandoWeekly.com.) My recommendation would be to buy a day pass for $20 and get there early — very early — to guarantee yourself a seat. If you miss it at the festival, there’s plenty of other stuff to see. My personal favorites are the shorts, and I’ll be seeing a lot of them over the weekend. Look for my blog at OrlandoWeekly.com on Monday. And look for a wide release of JoJo Rabbit in early November. (Orlando will get it on November 8.)

© 2019 MeierMovies, LLC

See my follow-up article.

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