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A re-awakening journey
TheLittleSongbird10 December 2019
My main reason for watching 'Green Book' was due to me wanting to see as many 2018 films as possible, and that it had won the Best Picture Oscar (so naturally wanted to see too that it was that good). Like Viggo Mortensen as an actor, the film's concept was appealing and it looked appetising. Word of mouth, including from very trusted friends online and in real life, was very positive so there were plenty of other reasons too.

'Green Book' turned out to be when watching a very good film and nearly a great one with many fantastic things. Wouldn't go as far to say that it is my favourite film of 2018, and as far as the other Best Picture nominees go there was a preference for 'Roma' and 'The Favourite', but if to put it in a group of either best, solid middle and worst films of the year 'Green Book' would be closest to being in the best category of those three groups. It is a very, very well done film and its good intentions are evident throughout and noble.

It could have done with more grit in places, really do appreciate that it was trying not to be heavy-handed or trying to offend with a quite heavy theme but they could have done more with it and given a little more depth to what there was. Not saying it wasn't there, quite the contrary, just wish there was more.

Credit is due for the laudable and successful efforts in making the story accessible and it is one that easy to like and get into, but actually it could have afforded to do a little more risk-taking and have a little more complexity.

Viggo Mortensen though brings a lot of charm and entertainment value to his role, and Mahershala Ali is a dignified and very moving contrast. Their chemistry is wholly natural and beautifully irresistible (never feeling contrived or rushed) which provides a lot of 'Green Book's' heart, while their characters are more than just characters and instead feel very human. This is very different territory for director Peter Farrelly and it is surprisingly restrained direction from him and it suits the material very well. It's a lovely looking film too and affectionately photographed, while the music is beautifully chosen and fitted some nice nostalgic song choices here.

The script is thoughtful, charming and also moving, and regardless of anybody feeling that it is a little too accessible and could have done with more grit the story kept me riveted and left me moved, inspired and like my heart had been warmed. The YMCA scene is a powerful one and a character development turning point handled beautifully.

Summing up, one of those very good and nearly great films. 8/10
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heart's in the right place
SnoopyStyle22 February 2019
It's 1962 New York City. "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) is a nightclub bouncer and a tough guy ingratiating himself with gangsters. When his workplace gets shut down for a two month renovation, he gets a job driving peculiar classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) to his concerts in the deep south.

There are issues but the movie has its heart in the right place. I don't mind the racist Tony Lip finding redemption and friendship in Shirley. Viggo is doing it pretty broadly but the main problem is Shirley. There are scenes where Farrelly is desperate for humor but it only heightens my disbelief. First is the cringeworthy KFC. It's crazy that a man has never had fried chicken despite coming from the south. The point should have been that he prefers not to eat fried chicken (and watermelon and collard greens and grits). It's not that he doesn't like it. He avoids it to avoid his roots. The same goes for the music. He's a musician for heaven's sake. Maybe he's not up to date but he had probably studied aspects of modern music and he's probably met a few of those artists. It's all wrong. His broadly played homosexuality is also a little awkward. I was really scared where Farrelly was taking that until it was saved by Tony who as a nightclub bouncer claims to have seen it all. It's a nice surprising twist to his character and in keeping with his transactional nature. Even the letter writing could be improved if some forethought had occurred. There is no reason why Dolores would go gaga over the letters when she suspects that it's Shirley's writing. She should hold back on the affection with the other girls going gaga. Only when she gets the house letter does she goes head over heels. It would show that she knows him best. These little nagging issues keep the movie from being great although I still enjoyed it.
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I Was Captivated
Hitchcoc19 January 2019
I saw Don Shirley perform in college in 1966. At the time I simply thought he was a hell of a pianist, using that bass and cello to come up with a unique sound. So when this movie came along, I thought "I saw that guy!" I know the critics are being hard on this film, but I sat for two hours, totally captivated. I know there are stereotypes. Could that be because the repeated actions against minorities and the actions of racists have become so commonplace they seem like stereotypes. I believe the performances of these two fine actor made the show. There is a subtlety to this movie that transcends many others of its type. Yes, there are Southern cops; yes, there are men's rooms that are off limits; yes, there are simplistic views of racism by white New Yorkers. But what I got was a realistic presentation of an evolving friendship. Shirley is abrasive and self-centered; Lip is clueless most of the time. And I believed in them. See this film.
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Kirpianuscus7 January 2020
Maybe, it is the greatest Christmas movie. For the clear define of the meanings of Nativity. The storytelling and the performances are the basic pillars . But the film has the virtue to have the viewer as part of it. In simple and convincing manner. So, a great film , in all the seanse.
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A good film overall with two or three great moments and references even, a pretty good watch when it is not too desperately trying to make a statement on race relations
Horst_In_Translation27 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Green Book" is an American movie from 2018 and one of the big players this awards season. So it surprises me a bit that with all the attention it racked up, this film "only" managed five Oscar nominations. Still, it may still be in second position for the Best Picture win (behind Roma) after its massive success at the Golden Globes. And it has Mahershala Ali pretty much safe winning his second Oscar (who'd have thought five years ago) while also being more than an underdog to add another for its screenplay. The man in charge there when it came to adapting this over 2-hour movie was Peter Farrelly and he is also the director. Among others, Farrelly got help with the script from Nick Vallelonga and if you paid only a bit attention during the movie, then you will recognize immediately the last name. Yep he is Tony Lip's son and it is pretty fitting that not just his father appeared in several mob-related movies that are deemed classics today.

Anyway, lets not talk about these now, but about this one here. Who would have guessed that the director of Something about Mary and Dumb & Dumber would come up with a movie like this? Actually, if you take a closer look, it is not a huge surprise because the critical reception here has not been as one-sided as you may guess. The subject sure comes in handy for Hollywood these days with the diversity issue still going strong, probably not as strong as at its peak, but still. Yes sometimes, it may seem a bit shallow honestly and I would not put the film anywhere near my favorites of the year, but there are also many good aspects. First of all, it flew by and for a film considerably over 2 hours, that is always a success. Then there's the acting. Everybody really does a good job here and that includes most of all lead actors Mortensen and Ali. Yes, lead actors. There is no way Mahershala Ali is a supporting player. What a ridiculous idea. No story without him, no journey throughout the States, no messages about racism. The film would not have existed without him just like it would not have existed without Mortensen's character. Actually, this is a pretty poor decision and going strongly against everything the film teaches us by putting the Black character in second row and it is even more disappointing to see the Academy really falling for it, most of all because of the character's background and story, but also because of the massive screen time honestly.

Okay, what else was good? Individual scenes. You will recognize them when you see them. One would be when the two recognize immediately how their humor is really different early on. I am talking about the salt joke and the Pittsburgh boobies joke here. One of many fairly funny moments too that are not lacking despite the serious background like everything about the letters. Another would be whom the Black protagonist calls from jail and how Mortensen's character is completely stunned. This is a scene that while it works nicely from the comedy perspective is also fairly crucial drama-wise as Ali explains in the car. Another entertaining scene was the KFC one when we really see the two bonding and joking for the first time. It is also a good scene with a look at perhaps the most intriguing issue of this movie: namely Ali's character being too white for his own and too black for the high society that enjoys his music. He is scared of doing what Black people do. He knows less about Black music than his Italian lower class driver and he eats no food that Blacks usually eat. Instead he drinks a fine wine on his own. To avoid having to play a ballgame with other Blacks, he lies that he has a meeting with someone and leaves. He sure belongs nowhere and this story line is where the film really delivers.

And opposing who Ali's character is and isn't, there is Mortensen, who faces a very slightly similar fate with being part of the dominating race, but really just at the bottom end of the food chain beating people up for money and making ends meet. He is a simple guy, but a good guy in fact. Do not mistake the fact of what he throws away early on because it was used by Blacks for him being a racist. It is more the general movement that made him do so, what society was like in the 60s back then and also what his buddies were like and these sure do include a handful racists. Had he been really racist, he would not have accepted the job as a driver. The fact that he refuses to clean his boss' shoes has not anything to do with racism either, just with him not wanting to be humiliated in any way. This also becomes obvious in the luggage packing scene where he won't be anybody's servant or butler, just the driver and man who solves problems his very own way. Now as for the police, they sure don't get away in a likable manner here and the final police officer scene with the one not minding the man's color during Christmas time cannot really save it and feels for the sake of it. But good inclusions nonetheless, even if the scene at the indoor swimming pool was not the best, actually the worst probably. An indicator at homosexuality that I don't mind, but it really did feel rushed in and there are no further elaborations. On the contrary, we find out he was married before, so was this one reason why it failed? It is not too important eventually and should have been left out in my opinion.

Of course, another good aspect here is that the film is really linked to actually existing people that did share a lifelong friendship following their journey together as we find out right before the closing credits roll in. Overall, a good and interesting movie with a right now obviously very appealing subject to liberal Hollywood. I think this one's worth watching for the two lead performances alone and the pretty nice chemistry they had and who would have thought Mortensen can pull off Italian this well. I don't think many actors would have been as good and gotten the Oscar nomination here being next to a far showier and baitier character (Ali's), but proves again that Mortensen is probably still the number one actor from Scandinavia (well he's American, but has roots there) in 2020, even if I personally like Mikkelsen at least as much. Drifting away now from this film, so it is time to end this review. I give Green Book the expected thumbs-up and positive recommendation. Not an overly enthusiastic one though.
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America in the Early 60´s
claudio_carvalho26 February 2019
In 1962, the Italian-American Tony "Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) is as family man happily married with children with his beloved wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini). When the night-club Copacabana where he works as a bouncer closes for two months to be refurbished, Tony needs to find a two-month job to support his family. He accepts to become the driver of the classical Afro-American pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) in a tour with two other Caucasian musicians through the racist South of America. He receives a Green Book, a travel guide with references of safe locations to black people and along their journey, they develop friendship and respect for each other.

The Oscar winner "Green Book" is a great film that discloses the racial segregation in the early 60´s in America. The touching story of friendship and injustice has magnificent performances of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. The screenplay blends drama, music and comedy and is based on a true story. "Green Book" is a film that really deserves the Oscar. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Green Book: O Guia" ("Green Book: The Guide")
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All roads head south
Prismark105 January 2019
Green Book is really an updated version of Driving Miss Daisy directed by Peter Farrelly.

Based on true events and set in 1962. Tony Lipp (Viggo Mortensen) is a mouthy nightclub bounce from the Bronx. He is out of a job as the nightclub is going through renovations.

Tony has been recommended to be a driver and bodyguard to erudite black piano player Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali.)

Dr Don is going on a pre Christmas tour of the deep south. Tony will drive him to the venues with the help of the Green Book, a guide book for black travellers. That will tell him the roads a black man can take, the motels a black man can stay in.

The relationship between the two men is like the odd couple. Dr Don is fastidious. Tony is a slob and easily gets into fights, he is also a racist at first.

Both men bond as they hit the road, experiencing constant discrimination.

It is a well acted film with a regal turn from Ali. There is comedy and the film gets a little gloomier as it heads deeper to the south.

The racism is anesthetized to make it palatable for modern audiences. In reality a black man being chauffeur driven by a white man in the deep south would had been odd and more dangerous.

I did feel the film is a little too glib and superficial. It has an ending which is a little too neat.

I doubt for a moment that even today, those backwood roads in the deep south are safe for some black travellers.
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It don't look fun to be that smart.
nogodnomasters10 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Tony Vallelonga aka Lip (Viggo Mortensen) is the bouncer at the Copacabana. When it is shut down for renovations, Tony hustles to feed his family. He is offered a lucrative job to be the driver and gofer for Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) a trained classical pianist. His tour will take him through the racially divided south in 1962. This is a story about an odd couple who both managed to change and find common ground.

Based on a true story, although I doubt the initial scene of the baseball game as the film gave the impression it was later in the year. Predictable Hollywood script. The title comes from the title of a travel book used by African-Americans to learn about safe places to eat and stay.

Guide: F-word. No sex or nudity.
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Worlds/books collide
kosmasp11 May 2019
It is difficult to make a movie based on a true story, with characters that existed, that has to walk a fine line when it comes to racism, the history of America and not making them too unlikeable, but also finding the middle, so there is still enough tension between the pair we are about to go on a journey with - and overall the movie succeeded.

There are certainly things that did not work or might seem like an omission - Viggos character shows a despise, a darker shade to him at the beginning, that does not really seem to come up later. And then there is the meeting - which is cleverly orchastrated but we never really understand why it continues from there. But not everything needs to be explained. Unless that takes something away from your movie watching experience.

Script is tight and the actors are really getting it on good. And there is still enough drama to go around. You will laugh, you may cry a little (or a lot) and overall you will see a great movie. All cynicism aside, this very well made (did not look into how close this is to what actually happened, you may research that on your own, if you like)
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A captivating watch, with sensational acting.
Sleepin_Dragon23 January 2021
Not often these days so I give ten stars to a film, with Green Book however, I had no other choice, this film had me totally captivated.

It's a fascinating story, I had no idea that it was based on true events, temporarily losing his job at a club, Tony Lip Vallelonga gets a job driving for Doctor Don Shirley. Shirley has a specific reason for touring in the deep south.

It's one hell of a journey (I know it's a term that's easily bandied about in films, but it's appropriate here,) physically and emotionally, it's a battle of wills, ideas, concepts, each man learns something from the other. You see the true horror of what Shirley faced in day to day life, from buying a suit, to eating dinner.

The acting, is simply outstanding, you couldn't put a pin between Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, the pair are unbelievable in this film, it's no wonder awards came flooding in.

It looks sensational, they brought 1962 to life, and the music throughout is spot on.

I laughed, I sobbed, I connected, a cinematic triumph, Green Book is an incredible film. 10/10.
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"It takes courage to change people's hearts."
classicsoncall5 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
In an awards season that offered five Best Picture nominations based on real life stories, that might have been a record in itself. Having seen them all, I think the Academy probably got it right this year in celebrating "Green Book" as it's big winner. It does tend to be formulaic in it's treatment of a white racist working for a black professional musician, who by their association come to understand a little bit about each other and form a bond that survives their two month road trip. But the relationship between Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and Tony 'Lip' Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) is never sugar coated. The dialog between the two men is unusually grating most of the time to be funny, though there are moments of humor that break through. It's hard to imagine how this association came to be in the first place, as the two men are so diametrically opposed in temperament, style and erudition. But underlying Tony's acceptance of a job offer came a profound sense of honor and loyalty to his employer, one that couldn't be shaken by mob acquaintances, dirty cops, or genteel elite who profess surface politeness while refusing service to a member of the black race. What particularly struck me was how the only time Dr. Shirley looked really happy was when he played at the Orange Bird saloon in the Deep South, casting aside his refined demeanor to really play his heart out for an audience that responded so enthusiastically. What the two men learn about each is directly at the heart of the story, one which transcends race, religion and background in an effort to understand what makes people similar rather than the differences that keep them apart.
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Green Book
jboothmillard13 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I saw the trailer for this movie a couple of times before its release, it looked exactly like the sort of thing that would do well during the upcoming Awards Season, and it sounded very interesting after reading more about it, so I looked for to it, from Golden Globe nominated director Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary). Based on the true story, in New York City, Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated Viggo Mortensen) works as a bouncer at a nightclub, the place is closed down for renovations, so he seeks new employment. He is invited for an interview with Doctor "Doc" Don Shirley (Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning Mahershala Ali), a black pianist who had Tony suggested to him, he is looking for a driver for his eight-week concert tour through the Mid-West and Deep South. Based on the strength of his references, Don hires Tony, they embark with plans to return to New York on Christmas Eve. Don's record label gives Tony a copy of the Green Book, a guide for black travellers to find motels, restaurants, and filling stations that would serve black people. The tour begins in the Midwest before they eventually head further south. Don and Tony initially clash, with Tony uncomfortable being made to act refined, and Don being disgusted with Tony's habits. As the tour progresses, Tony is impressed with Don's talent on the piano, he also becomes increasingly appalled by the discriminatory treatment the musician receives from event hosts and the general public when he is not on stage. One night, Don's life is threatened by a group of white men in a bar, Tony rescues him and instructs Don he should not go anywhere without him for the rest of the tour. Before leaving, Tony's wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini) desired him to write her letters, to let her know what he is up to, and express his feelings for her. Throughout the journey, Don helps Tony write letters to his wife, which deeply move her, while Tony encourages Don to get in touch with his own estranged brother, but Don is hesitant, observing that his professional life and achievements are stopping him. Don is caught in a gay encounter with a white man, Tony bribes the officers to prevent the musician's arrest, which upsets Don, as he feels that he is "rewarding" them for their treatment. Later, Don and Tony are arrested after being pulled over by a police officer in an all-white town and Tony punches him after being insulted. While they are incarcerated, rather than using his call to contact his "lawyer", Don uses the opportunity to reach Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who orders the governor to release them. Tony is amazed by the experience, while Don is humiliated, this leads to an argument between them. Having reached his breaking point, Don tells Tony that his fame prevents him from identifying with people of his race, while his race prevents him from being accepted by white people, and his homosexuality from being accepted by anybody, making him feel truly lonely. The night of his final performance in Birmingham, Alabama, Don is refused entry into the whites-only dining room of the country club venue he is performing at. Tony threatens the owner, and Don refuses to play, so Tony takes Don to dinner at a predominantly black blues club, listed in the Green Book, where Don plays on the stage piano and rouses the crowd with his music. Tony and Don head back north to try to make it home by Christmas Eve, Tony gets tired during a snowstorm, so Don takes over driving duty, and they make it in time for Tony's family dinner. Don later returns to Tony's apartment, Tony invites him in, there is a brief silence from everyone, but he is welcomes and thanked by Tony's wife for helping him write his letters. Also starring Don Stark as Jules Podell, Sebastian Maniscalco as Johnny Venere, Dimiter D. Marinov as Oleg and Mike Hatton as George. Mortensen is likeable as the amusing Italian-American rough diamond who slowly has his attitudes changed, but not his manners, but Ali almost steals the show as the talented African-American pianist who struggles during the time of segregation and has standards, together Mortensen and Ali are a wonderful odd-couple on the road. The style of the story is very similar to Driving Miss Daisy, with the chauffeur forming an unlikely friendship with his passenger, the scenes of piano playing and concerts are also likeable, this film really makes you realise the severe nature of the treatment of black people during the 1960s, but it leaves enough room to make you laugh and have well-meaning and touching scenes, it all adds up to a satisfying crowd-pleasing biographical drama. It won the Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Original Screenplay, and it was nominated the Best Film Editing, it was nominated the BAFTA for Best Film and Best Original Screenplay, and it won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. Good!
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Inspired by the real 1962 musical tour down South.
TxMike23 March 2019
My wife and I watched this movie at home on BluRay from our public library. This movie recently won the Oscar for Best Picture and Ali won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The lead role is Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip, a New York bouncer of Italian descent. His club is closing for the last two months of 1962 and he is recommended as the driver for a black musician, a pianist, who is going on a tour, a series of performances, in various Deep South locations.

Mahershala Ali is in the role of Dr. Donald Shirley, who was a real jazz and concert pianist who over his career played in many high-profile venues. In 1962 he has planned this musical trip to hopefully change some perceptions about black musicians. Having a tough bodyguard as a driver will help insure his safety.

The title is a reference to a book which is a guide to where blacks can eat or sleep in southern locations, in 1962 the Deep South was mostly still segregated, blacks could not stay or eat and many locations.

As the writer, one of Tony Lip's sons, reveals, the story is only regarding that particular trip and he says the input comes from Ali himself some years earlier, and of course his dad. It is a story of how two men from greatly different backgrounds and world views became friends. Ironically both men died in 2013.

Good movie.
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blanche-214 December 2018
This film was inspired by the true story of Tony the Lip Villelonga, An Italian-American bouncer (Mortenson) from the Bronx who gets a job driving a black. highly educated and cultured musician (Ali) through the south in 1962.

Really a must-see film for the performances of everyone involved, for a good look at what it was like for blacks in the south, an amazing look at Bronx Italian life, and some great music.

The title refers to "The Negro Motorist Green Book," which advised African-Americans traveling where they could eat and stay.

The real Tony the Lip, by the way, played Carmine in The Sopranos. And great to see my favorite comedian, Maniscalco, in a movie role as Mrs. Villelonga's brother.

Funny, warm, poignant, delightful film with wonderful characters - perfect for the holidays. Don't miss it.The title and subject matter are a reference to "The Negro Motorist Green Book," also known as "The Negro Travelers' Green Book." Published from 1936-1966, the guide helped African-American travelers find lodging, restaurants, and other businesses that would serve them. It eventually covered most of North America, plus Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Funny, warm, and poignant film with wonderful characters - perfect for the holidays. Don't miss it.
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Just okay when all is said and done
Quinoa19848 December 2018
So, let me get up on the soap box here for just a second ::steps up, clears throat::

It may be because I have inhaled as much of the non-fiction of James Baldwin the past two years, or that I have simply paid halfway attention to whats going on in this part of this decade, or that I live in the general area that Tony Lips did (the tri-state area in the North-East), but I think Green Book underestimates the racism of the North at the time. It's often been a misconception, usually by white people (and maybe at one time when I was much younger), but just because you live in the North and around liberal areas doesn't mean that things are less racist.

Indeed, it's that more subdued racism (what MLK dubbed those "white moderates") that make a lot of trouble. From socio-economic segregation of a sort - notice that in the Bronx neighborhood Tony's family and friends live there are no black people, and the "No Coloreds" signs are not up but they're just... Not there, and not allowed. Not really, anyway.

To the movie's credit, it does touch on the fact that there is this racism that is there with working-class Italians (not that it's any great revelation in American cinema - Do the Right Thing was made decades ago and dealt with Italian caricatures, literally making pizza, being face to face with African American people with much more insight and drama/comedy etc); there is one telling beat where Tony comes home as two black handymen are working on the Lips' family kitchen, and they're given some lemonade in two glasses. When they leave, Lips puts the two glasses in the trash (and later, Linda Cardellini's wife takes them back out). This is good visual storytelling that makes the point clear: once Lips gets tasked with the plot of Green Book, which is to drive the good Doctor (Mahershala Ali) across the mid-west and deep South, there will be problems but not just with those they come across.... But then it's kinda-sorta dropped for a "feel-good" movie about race relations.

I don't know about you, but in 2018, living in just everything that's going on now (in daily news, a campus in Mississippi got vandalized with numerous nooses hung about for tomorrows Senate vote for example), I'm not sure if that's what we (white people, even more than blacks or other minorities) need to see. All this said, the movie does a good job, at least for the first two thirds, of getting an entertaining buddy story between these two Characters, with a capital "C."

And to the actors' credit, Ali and Mortensen tap into the cliches of a, well, bouncer at the Coppacabana and classically trained PHD pianist (fluent in multiple languages, which does pay off at a key point by the way, nice writing), and whenever they are on screen I believed the actors in what they had to emote or tried to do. It's even got funny scenes and beats and lines, and while I can count the number of laughs (at least five, at most six), they are genuine laughs. Farrelly knows how to get two guys working together on screen - he's known since Dumb & Dumber - so that part is fine.

But then there's that last third in particular when it hunkers down into hammering its message about race relations (if you've seen the trailer, that scene in the rain with "if I'm not black enough and Im not white enough" etc is a cringe-tastic as it seems) and the simple attitude that after two months Tony Lips is now way cooler and, more crucially at the end, all the rest of his friends and family there for Christmas Eve are magically okay now with the ::insert Italian slang word for racist epithet here:: coming to dinner. But this is all without any real work outside of a few goopy scenes where the good Doctor helps Tony write letters to Mrs. Lips (sorry I forget his real last name right now) so he must be awesome outside of the brilliant piano playing.

The movie does go a ways to make Ali's character flawed too in some basic ways - as a musician on the road he's become a loner, estranged from a brother and divorced - and in one way that I don't think is meant to be seen as a flaw, but comes up as a "huh" bit where Tony has to get Doc out of a bind when he is... Caught in a gay moment with another man at the YMCA(?!) Okie dokie! So that also don't be a big deal since hes just Tony's boss and no judgment and we'll just leave his sexuality as something that doesn't get any more screen-time because RACISM needs to get the top shelf over homophobia and that entire grenade which... What was that??

As far as the sort of if not feel good then *don't feel bad* kind of movie released by a big studio, it's not as tone deaf and potentially harmful as a Crash; it has more of the feel of a better(ish) thing that Stanley Kramer would have made (down to, if Poitier was around he would be ideal for this part): it doesn't shy from the issues, and on the contrary it tries to show what everybody (even the racists) know, which is segregation-by-law can't be sustainable.

But when it comes to depicting more essential details about character, about really digging into Lips past his love for his wife and not being *that* bad because, hey, he turns down offers by the local mobsters for work even when he's down, right(?) it doesn't hold as much water. Should I wholly believe Lips wont throw out again glasses that happened to touch mouths of black working class workers, despite himself being working class, because he got Lessons in Life (and visa-versa he gives the Doctor some "Street Life" lessons)? Not sure that I do.

Why the six star rating then? When it means to be simply well-acted and more character-driven entertainment, it works - not to mention the greatest product placement for KFC in cinema history - and I enjoyed seeing these two do the absolute best they could with what they had. It's a mild recommendation. But compared to what else you can see from this year - Blindspotting, Blackkklansman, Sorry to Bother You, to an extent The Hate U Give - it's weak tea.

Thank you. ::steps off::
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Green Book was one of the best films of last year!
tavm31 January 2019
Just watched this with my movie theatre-working friend. This was the true story of Tony Lip (Vallelonga) and his working relationship as the chauffer and associate of pianist Dr. Don Shirley during the early '60s as they travel throughout much of the South for the pianist's concert engagements. It's quite a touching and occasionally funny story co-written by Tony's son Nick. Nice surprise to hear it was mostly shot in Louisiana, where I live, even during a snow scene when it actually snowed in my state during December of '17! My friend and I really liked this one so that's a high recommendation!
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A heartwarming journey
Gordon-115 January 2019
This film tells the story of two men, who are polar opposites of each other in every single way, going on a trip together.

I find the story really incredible. It's touching, funny, disturbing and heartwarming all at the same time. It's a thought provoking film, yet entertaining at the same time.
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bevo-1367829 March 2020
I really enjoyed this film. I've seen it twice now
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A indictment of shocking bigotry tinged with quite a lot of hope and optimism.
CinemaSerf10 December 2019
I really enjoyed this story of racism and double-standards that tugged at the very hypocritical heart of 1960s America. An initially hostile Viggo Mortensen is assigned as guide and bodyguard to the hugely talented Don Shirley as he and his quartet tour the still racially divided US Southern states. Mahershala Ali is formidable as the creative, and somewhat aloof musician, who naively sets off on the enterprise not quite prepared for the reactions he is to get - at times he is viewed as little better than a performing seal and is treated accordingly by his "hosts". The score is superb and the writing and photography a delight. Was it the best film, though? I sometimes think that much like with "Moonlight" and "Call Me By Your Name" the Academy is genuflecting to the fact that Hollywood has been so far behind the curve in reflecting the changes in society, that it now feels compelled to pat itself on the back at every opportunity just for catching up with cinema from the rest of the world. This is certainly a better film than the the other two I just mentioned, but will it still be a topic of conversation in five years...?
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Driving Mister Daisy
writers_reign25 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Like the man said you got seven basic plots; you get to plot eight you're back to one with maybe a little backspin. Back in 1987 Alfred Uhry wrote a Pulitzer prize-winning play called Driving Miss Daisy, it was a fine play and, when subsequently adapted for the screen, an equally fine film. Set in Atlanta, Ga, it featured a Black man working as a chauffeur to a White Jewish lady. Green Book features a White Italian-American chauffeuring a Black man through the Deep South. Similar stories, right? Well, maybe. Miss Daisy actually lived in Atlanta while Dr Shirley was merely touring whilst playing a series of one-night concerts. Actually the film is about two disparate individuals, chalk and cheese, initially antagonistic who learn to respect, admire, and bond with each other - now that IS a new plot. This is an exceptionally fine film boasting two exceptional performances and a fine supporting cast. Bring on the dvd.
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Great movie: may seem predictable in its destination but it's the journey that matters
grantss13 July 2019
1962. A bigoted Italian-American bouncer, Tony Lip, gets the job of driving Dr Don Shirley, renowned African-American pianist, on his tour across the mid-West and South. The two could not be more different.

I did not have high expectations for this movie. I knew it would be good, but figured it wouldn't cover any new ground. Moreover, it seemed like a reverse Driving Miss Daisy (not that DMD is a bad movie - quite the opposite - but that it had been done before).

I needn't have worried. The outcome is fairly predictable, but that doesn't matter: the getting there is original, interesting, engaging, thought-provoking and great.

Director Peter Farrelly sets the scene well and paces the movie to perfection. The characters of Tony Lip and Don Shirley are well drawn and developed, making for high engagement levels. You can see their views and characters evolve before your eyes, see the events that shape them and how these influence their future actions. There's also a decent smattering of humour to aid the engagement.

Some great social commentary too, especially on racial attitudes of the day and on tolerance in general.

Mahershala Ali got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Don Shirley, and well deserved the award. Great work too from Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip, resulting in a Best Actor nomination (he ultimately lost out to Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody).

The movie itself won the 2019 Best Picture Oscar.

Great film.
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As Hollywood's official House of Horror, poignant monster dilemmas . . .
oscaralbert13 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
. . . are no strangers to Universal Studios. From its silent movie days, when the unrequited loves of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA elicited many a tear from sensitive theater goers, to Frankenstein's Monster learning that little girls don't always float, to the Creature being hounded out of the cozy confines of that Black Lagoon, the lives of Universal's horror stars are a lot more difficult than those of "Terry Howard's" HUSTLE & FLOW street entrepreneurs. And what could be harder than the predicament facing "Doc" in GREEN BOOK? An alcoholic gay White Chopin-playing piano prodigy born with a Black body, Doc nevertheless insists upon drunkenly cruising Pale Face-only swimming pools after hours, on the prowl for short-term romantic partners. To "up" the horror quotient, Universal depicts Doc's Happy Hunting Grounds in the U.S. Deep South at the height of America's so-called "Jim Crow" Era. If all of this is making GET OUT seem like a church picnic in comparison, you're picking up on the vibe created by GREEN BOOK, our top Horror Flick of 2018.
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Odd coupling and a change in pace for filmmaker Farrelly equals a fine display in production and acting.
george.schmidt16 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
GREEN BOOK (2018) ***1/2 Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalo, Dimiter D. Marinov, Mike Hatton. Well-produced and acted true-life account of an odd coupling friendship in the form of Bronx-born tough guy Tony Lip (Mortensen, employing the 'dese,dem & dose' school of acting to the nth degree) hired as a driver for cosmopolitan concert pianist Dr. Don Shirley (stalwart and pristine Ali) circa 1962 thru an 8 month tour thru the Deep South with the as expected tell-tale signs of the times (racism and classism to boot). Unlikely director Peter Farrelly surprises all in a turn of displaying his dramatic goods (sprinkled with enough humor to keep things even-keeled) with ample help from his two leads parrying and giving good with one another. While the seemingly easy to pigeonhole 'sex-change/role reversal DRIVING MISS DAISY' easily could've been the pitch, the screenplay by Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga and Brian Hayes Currie gives enough depth in both characters and a fine arc-piece in the process.
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evanston_dad10 April 2019

"Green Book" is the kind of movie my mom likes, and trust me, that's not a compliment. It's for people who are willing to watch a movie about racism as long as the black character who's the victim of it is whiter than any of the white characters. It's for people who want to pat themselves on the back for being open to a "serious" movie that doesn't challenge a single belief or make them the slightest bit uncomfortable. It's for people who like music cues that tell them exactly what they're supposed to be feeling at every single moment. It's for people who think the answer to racial problems is for whites and blacks to compromise and find some middle ground where they can agree to overcome their differences, as if black people have any responsibility in the fact that they have been marginalized ever since the very first one set foot on American soil. No one who is the slightest bit tuned in to racial problems in contemporary America could possibly stomach this movie.

Personally, I found it to be patronizing and damn near insulting. It consists of scene after scene of our black protagonist getting himself in trouble, only to be saved from the situation by the white guy. By the end, the white guy has taught him how to be more black and embrace his own culture, which in this movie is defined by liking fried chicken, listening to Little Richard and Aretha Franklin, and playing some funky piano. Oh but wait, defenders will say. The white guy learns something too, like how to be less racist and how to write really good love letters to his wife. In fact, the entire guys' racist family learns to not be racist by the end and welcomes the black guy to their Christmas dinner. They're just casually racist, you see, but not racist in ways that really matter. Barf.

Seriously, this is the Sesame Street version of racism. In a year that gave us "BlackkKlansman," "Blindspotting," "The Hate U Give," and "Sorry to Bother You," all movies made by minorities about the black experience in America, it's pretty telling of where we are as culture right now that the race movie mainstream America glommed on to was this piece of feel-good hoo-hah. Mainstream America doesn't want to have its beliefs challenged, and it certainly doesn't want to be told it's part of the problem. Instead, it wants a hallmark movie that makes it feel good about itself.

One thing saves "Green Book" from being an utter waste of time, and that is the performance of Viggo Mortensen.

Grade: D
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Not to say it isn't a decent movie...
AlsExGal23 February 2019
... just that it's so inoffensive, safe, and cliche that I feel like I've seen it a million times before. Mortensen and Ali are terrific actors, and I am thankful for them. Without their charisma (and Viggo's willingness to shove insane amounts of food down his throat), I fear Green Book would be dead on arrival.

Mostly, I think this is a movie that's desperately afraid of 'offending' anyone. For instance: if there's a scene with racist cops, there will also be a scene with a good cop down the road, just to make clear that the movie is not stating or suggesting that 'all cops are/were racist'. It's also funny that the good-cop scene happens in the snow, to let us know the characters are back in a blue state, where supposedly life wasn't so bad for a black man after all! This is one of the many simplistic moves that indicate to me that the filmmakers were willing to sacrifice the complexities of their themes for a feel-good entertainment.

The script wants both characters to 'learn' from each other and eventually change and grow, but to make this happen, it turns them into unrealistic caricatures. It's a bit frightening how Shirley is portrayed as a complete ignorant of black culture, but it had to be this way so Tony can be the one to 'introduce' him to it. Tony's transformation comes simply from witnessing racism first hand, as if he never experienced such a thing in his life before - maybe another consequence of this being a blue state-red state movie??

So besides the performances, that speak for themselves, I think it's a very uninspired effort. At one point the characters leave the car for no reason other than to have a dramatic confrontation in the rain, as if rainy night equals 'dramatic weight'. I saw it in a packed movie theater and people seemed to enjoy it. You can't blame them. The movie has a 'now everything's fine' conclusion that can leave audiences in a good state of mind - but it also shows how simplistic it really is.
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