Trailers Spotlight: HARRIET and JOJO RABBIT

Happy [almost] Friday, folks! Today we have a set of trailers I think are worth checking out, and per tradition, I always like to mix the tone/genre/style when posting trailers. Both of these films deal with the horrifying injustices befallen our humanity, slavery and the holocaust, but done in two very different ways. One is a biopic drama and the other an anti-hate satire, both to be released this Fall.


Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.

I first saw Cynthia Erivo in Steve McQueen’s extremely-underrated thriller WIDOWS (one of my top 10 of 2018). I was so impressed with her performance, her feature film debut no less, that I’m thrilled to see her leading this overdue biopic. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any film made about Harriet Tubman, a real-life hero who’s become an icon of courage and freedom.

Glad to see a black, female director at the helm of this important film. This is Kasi Lemmons‘ fifth feature film, the last one she directed was Black Nativity (2013). Looks like we can expect a thrilling, intense and gut-wrenching biopic, I’m already tearing up watching the trailer. Of course some people surely have issues with Erivo’s casting, given that she’s British. Originally her Widows‘ co-star Viola Davis was supposed to play Tubman for HBO but not sure what happened to that project. But then again, a bunch of other Brits have played iconic American heroes, i.e. Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln and David Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. Erivo may not be an American, but she does have African heritage (Nigerian) and who’s to say she won’t be able to do Harriet Tubman justice if she wasn’t born in the US? Apparently there are calls for boycotts which I think is just sad.

Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr. and Joe Alwyn also star in this film, and it’ll have its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September and opens in theaters on November 1st. Fingers crossed it will also make the TCFF lineup this year!

A young boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Anything by visionistical (apparently he coined a new term) filmmaker Taika Waititi always intrigues me. Described as an anti-hate satire by the filmmaker, it’s based on a book called Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, a US-born novelist who lives in New Zealand. It’s worthy of note not only because Waititi is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today, but here he also plays the imaginary friend, that is Hitler himself. Per IMDb, when Taika who is Jewish, was asked about why he chose to play the role of [a plumb] Adolf Hitler he said “The answer’s simple, what better f***you to the guy” Ha! You gotta love his zany brand of humor.

I’m thrilled to see Thomasin McKenzie amongst the cast, the NZ breakout star of Leave No Trace, another movie on my Top 10 list of last year. She plays the young Jewish girl hiding in the German boy’s (Roman Griffin Davis) attic. Scarlett Johansson plays his mother and the rest of the star-studded cast include Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell. 

This has that dark comedy whimsy that’s quintessentially Taika’s… it’s wacky and irreverent yet with a touch of earnestness. What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok are all immensely watchable and highly-quotable, I have a feeling this one would be as well.

Jojo Rabbit will also have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and opens in theaters on October 18th. Man, I’m officially excited for Fall movies now, though no, I’m not ready for summer to be over yet.


Thoughts on these trailers, folks?

5 thoughts on “Trailers Spotlight: HARRIET and JOJO RABBIT

  1. I think Harriet looks interesting and… what is up with people complaining about the casting? People are getting way too easily offended these days. God, I’d like to tell them off and make them cry like little bitches.

    Jojo Rabbit is the film I really want to see as I’m a big fan of Waititi and it’s got Scar-Jo 3:16 as I want to see what Waititi and Scarlett can do with each other.

    1. Hi Steven! Well that’s the thing, people are ALWAYS gonna be upset about something, I mean looking at Erivo in the trailer, I wouldn’t have known she wasn’t American. The most important thing is the BEST actor for the job, but seems that nowadays people get waaaay too sensitive about the actor’s identity than their talents.

      As for JoJo Rabbit, it just looks like something crazy that Waititi would do, but surely it’ll be fun to watch.

  2. Jojo Rabbit looks hilarious, so I’ll definitely check that film out when it opens.

    From the trailer of HARRIET, it made it look like she’s some sort of an action hero but I don’t know her real life story so hopefully it will be a good film that aims to be as accurate as possible. I used to loved BRAVEHEART but then I read how inaccurate it was to the real person and events, I kind of hate the film now. Lol.

    1. Well if you check on Wikipedia, Harriet Tubman definitely WAS a hero. In fact, reading her bio, I’m astonished her story had not been made into a movie yet. I’m sure the film probably isn’t gonna be 100% accurate but she certainly has a story worth telling and her story would inspire ANYONE regardless of race/gender. I’m also intrigued by her life outside of her heroic endeavors, but seeing her as a person, as a woman, wife, mother, etc.

  3. Pingback: Spotlight on FIVE Highly-Anticipated Fall Movies (Sept – Oct) – FlixChatter Film Blog

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