“Green Book”—movie review   1 comment

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I was very hesitant about going to see “Green Book” starting with it being directed by Peter Farrelly who was known for such ‘low’ films as “Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary” which dealt with obscene language and scenes though big hits. It also sounded to me like a takeoff of “Driving Miss Daisy” only with a white driver and a black passenger which would probably be ‘Hollywoodized” and “the Odd Couple” thrown in as the arc of the movie and it is..
I went only because I am a long time fan of Viggo Mortensen and was impressed with Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight”. I expected to see a so-so film with good performances and we certainly saw the latter but it won me over showing the Carnegie Hall apartments, though I never did see one like Ali had. Also the scenes supposedly filmed in the Bronx was not a Bronx I was raised in but all of a sudden I was laughing and then being touched and going through layers of emotions.
Yes Viggo Mortensen as Tony Vallelonga and Mahershala Ali as Dr. Don Shirley are cliches in many scenes but they are both such good actors you believe what they are saying and doing not to forget the touch of family that Linda Cardellini as Tony’s wife brings to an Italian Bronx thug who does love his wife and 2 sons, along with other family members.
Based on a true story I must admit I had never heard of Dr. Don Shirley but his story of being a black entertainer who is going to travel through the south in 1962 it is reasonable that he would hire a Tony ‘type’ to be his chauffer and, in a sense, protector. A lot of cliches are nothing more than stereotypes and much what we see and hear of Shirley and Vallelonga sound and seem familiar which is sad because we aren’t surprised.
“Green Book” is being sold as ‘a true story of a friendship’ and it is just that with many laughs and tears supplied by two brilliant actors who bring more to the script than the script brings to them. There are a couple of scenes that took me by surprise which if talked about would mean spoilers and should be discovered on their own but one question I would love if anyone knows if  Mahershala does his own piano playing or is it Hollywood magic?
Both “Green Book” and “The Hate U Give” are two of the best films I have seen this autumn and though both deal with race they are completely different and also have leading performances that should get nominations, if not actual wins, for their performances.

One response to ““Green Book”—movie review

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  1. I’m glad this film wasn’t just a stereotypical take on race. And I do like Ali….

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