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Jojo Rabbit wins top prize at Toronto International Film Festival, raising hopes for Oscar season

Photo: Toronto International Film Festival

As predicted by our own A.A. Dowd in one of his TIFF dispatches, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit—in which the Thor: Ragnarok director plays Adolf Hitler as the petty, cartoonish imaginary friend of a shy Nazi boy—has won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. This is particularly noteworthy because TIFF has a streak going when it comes to the Academy Awards, with 10 of its last 11 People’s Choice winners going on to get (at least) a Best Picture nomination. Theoretically, that means Jojo Rabbit should have a pretty good showing when it’s time for the Oscars, assuming the members of the Motion Picture Academy are still fans of movies that are about people being united by love and understanding. Jojo Rabbit doesn’t have a man eating a whole pizza like a sandwich, as last year’s TIFF and Best Picture winner Green Book did, but a dumb goofball Hitler might just be the 2019 version of that.

The runner-up at TIFF was Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, which Variety says is also getting a lot of buzz for potential Best Picture, Best Director, and acting nominations at the Oscars, and the second runner-up was Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (Variety says it’s a lock for Best International Feature Film, which seems like a safe bet). This means bad news for the Joker stans out there, all of whom will no choice but to express their disappointment on social media now that their clown prince was knocked out of the running at TIFF, but that obviously doesn’t mean its own Oscar dreams have been crushed. After all, what is more chaotic and Joker-esque than upending established film festival trends?

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