This post had a few false starts.
I wanted to do a war movie and, since it just came out, I was originally going to write about "All Quiet on the Western Front." I couldn't finish it. I tried but that movie is impossible to enjoy. Sure, "All Quiet on the Western Front" is well acted and well made but it's also relentlessly grim. It's not a movie, it's tragedy porn.
Movies are supposed to be entertaining.
"Well, World War I wasn't entertaining." 🤓
No shit. I don't doubt "All Quiet on the Western Front's" historical accuracy but if that's what you want, watch a documentary.
Thoroughly traumatized, I decided to write about a war movie that I know I like. And I may as well switch World Wars too. Unfortunately, I just did a Tarantino, so "Inglorious Basterds" was out.
Fine, "Jojo Rabbit" it is. That's actually great, I love "Jojo Rabbit." It's both funnier and sadder than "All Quiet on the Western Front."
Now that I had a movie, I wanted to suggest a German Gewürztraminer for "Jojo Rabbit" but it's not easy to get a decent one in the US.
I give up, we'll have to go with an Italian Gewürztraminer, like Tramin Nussbaumer's from Trentino-Alto Adige. Oh well.
Loosely based on "Caging Skies" by Christine Leunen and directed by Taika Waititi, the film tells the story of Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), a young boy in Nazi Germany and an avid member of the Hitler Youth. Jojo's has to question his entire world view when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Throughout the movie, Jojo navigates the complexities of his situation with the help of his imaginary friend, an idiotic and comedic version of Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself). The film blends humor, drama, and pathos to explore themes of hate, indoctrination, and humanity, providing a fresh perspective on WWII narratives. Despite its heavy backdrop, "Jojo Rabbit" is known for its unique charm, wit, and guaranteed ability to make you cry.
The film’s satirical elements, including Waititi's imaginary Hitler, underscore the absurdity of hate and prejudice. However, the film never loses sight of the serious and tragic realities of its historical setting, striking a careful balance between humor and drama.
Waititi isn't the only one who turns in a stellar performance. Newcomer Davis carries the film with an impressive range for such a young actor, skillfully navigating Jojo’s journey from naïve fanaticism to understanding and empathy.
In the glass, the Tramin Nussbaumer Gewürztraminer displays a deep, golden yellow color, signaling its concentration and complexity.
On the palate, the Nussbaumer Gewürztraminer is full-bodied and richly textured, with a balanced acidity that keeps the wine's opulent character in check. Flavors of tropical fruits, citrus, and spices unfold in layers, underpinned by a distinct minerality that reflects the mountainous terroir of NOT Germany.
The finish is long and persistent, with the lush fruit flavors and floral notes lingering on the palate. The interplay of sweetness, spice, and acidity creates an engaging finale.
Why They Pair Well
Like the Tramin Nussbaumer Gewurztraminer's intense aromas and bold flavors, "Jojo Rabbit" is a film that isn't afraid to make a statement. Its blend of satire, humor, and drama makes it stand out.
The wine balances its sweetness with acidity and spice. In "Jojo Rabbit," there is a delicate balance between the film's humor and its more serious, even tragic elements. This balance creates a film experience that is both thought-provoking and emotionally engaging.
Just as Tramin is known for its commitment to the unique and aromatic Gewurztraminer grape in a region dominated by other varieties, "Jojo Rabbit" is an unconventional film that uses satire and humor to explore a dark period in history.
By Eddie Beeby
What wine would you pair with "Jojo Rabbit?"