Thanks to showfilmfirst, my husband and I went to see a preview screening of this brilliant film on Sunday at the Huddersfield Odeon.
IMDB says: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
In this biography, comedy, drama film directed by Peter Farrelly (There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber) and written by Nick Vallelonga (Vigilante Diaries, I Am Wrath), Brian Hayes Currie (Armageddon, Con Air) and Peter Farrelly, Viggo Mortenson (The Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence) and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star as Tony Lip and Dr. Don Shirley, a musical virtuoso.
On an enforced leave of absence from his normal job as a tough bouncer at the Copacabana Club, Tony Lip needs to find gameful employment and, after some reservations which includes leaving his wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini: Brokeback Mountain, TVs ER), agrees to accompany the classical pianist on his concert tour of the Deep South states using The Negro Motorist Green Book for places to stay due to racial segregation.
The erudite but snobbish Dr. Shirley clashes with the crude yet practical Tony, their ideals and attitudes to life are at odds but as they travel they come to see the value in and respect for each others' talents.
Inspired by true events, this is a powerful story about friendship that transcends barriers and shows us what it means to be truly human. Teaching us to put aside what others tell you, what you are told to believe and really see a person through their actions, words and thoughts. Difference should not be an issue and in this world that is more divided than ever (e.g. Brexit), we can all learn a lot through the honest friendship of these two men. The world should not have needed a green book, but I am hopeful that this film can teach us to not need anything like it again.
The acting was superb with solid scriptwriting, the film has so many layers I feel like I could watch it again and again.
You can tell that the film is based on a real friendship as it never feels contrived and the viewer goes on their journey with them. It truly shows you that friendship should transcend who or what you think or others think you are and the nuanced and poignant performances given by Ali and Mortenson show us that despite social complications, every human wants and needs the same thing: love and acceptance.
The cinema was almost full and at the end of the film, some of the audience broke out into spontaneous clapping. I have never understood that as the writer, director or actors are not there, but I get that people wanted to show their appreciation for how good they thought the film was in some tangible way. And it really was that superb.
I have been to see The Favourite, Stan and Ollie and Bohemian Rhapsody as well as Green Book this year and I think Green Book is the best movie in this impressive group and it deserves to win an Oscar the most.
Go see it, you won't regret it.
Trivia: Kris Bowers, the film's composer, was Mahershala Ali's piano double. 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. The real Tony Lip is best known for playing Carmine Lupertazzi on The Sopranos and has had roles in several Martin Scorsese movies. In the Vallelonga family scenes, Tony and Dolores' real family members play most of the relatives. Per Viggo Mortensen's suggestion, the movie has no opening credits or title card. This immerses viewers in the action and makes them forget they're watching a film.
Tagline: Inspired by a True Friendship 5/5
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