Jojo Rabbit on Sunday won the Toronto film festival’s top prize, an Oscars bellwether which gives the satirical Nazi comedy a boost as Hollywood’s award season kicks into gear.
The movie from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi tells the story of a young German boy living during World War Two whose imaginary friend is a make-believe version of Adolf Hitler.
Billed as an “anti-hate satire,” it plots how the child—a Hitler Youth member with a fondness for Nazi uniforms and book-burnings—discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic.
It beat runners-up Marriage Story—also starring Johansson—and Cannes Palme d’Or winner Parasite from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho.
The Toronto People’s Choice Award, determined entirely by the votes of festival attendees, has a strong history of predicting Oscars success.
The last seven winners were all nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, with two of those winning the Oscar, including last year’s surprise victor Green Book.
12 Years a Slave (2013), The King’s Speech (2010) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) all began their award season journeys to Oscar glory with the Toronto prize.
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