Green Book is one of the most talked about and decorated films of the 2019 award show season thus far.
Now a 5 time Academy Award nominee (including Best Picture), this film has already won 3 out of 5 Golden Globe nominations and 1 out of 2 Screen Actors Guild awards. With that kind of recognition, I knew I had to see what the hype was about.
This film tells the true story of an unlikely friendship set in the 1960’s, when it seemed like America was at its most racially divided. Dr. Don Shirley, an African-American world-class pianist, is in search of a driver to chauffeur him on a concert tour that includes several shows in the Deep South. Tony Lip, a bouncer from the Bronx, is in need of a job and finds himself being recruited for the gig. The two embark on a a journey that lasts long after the 2 months they spend on the road, teaching each of them how the other half truly lives – all preconceived judgements aside.
Mahershala Ali is impeccable as Dr. Don Shirley, a man whose dignity was as powerful as his piano playing talents. Ali has already won a Golden Globe for his performance and racked up several nominations, including one for an Academy Award. As his counter-part, Viggo Mortensen truly becomes Tony Lip by gaining nearly 40 pounds, perfecting a thick Italian accent and finding middle ground as the soft-tough guy. Mortensen has also been nominated several times for his amazing portrayal, rightfully so.
The relationship between Dr. Shirley and Tony is the best part of this film. It’s a combination we have seen over and over again; An Odd Couple-esque scenario, where two people are able to see past their many differences and find common ground. It is a pleasure to watch their relationship unfold on screen.
Overall, this film blew me away. From the sets, to the costumes, to the dialogue, to the performances – Green Book is authentic at its core. This film really has it all. It’s hilarious, endearing, heart-breaking and heart-warming. The best way to fully grasp Green Book is to see it for yourself.
Green Book is now playing in select theaters.
Score: ★★★★½ /5
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