REVIEW: Green Book - beautifully acted and enjoyable

PUBLISHED: 09:25 04 March 2019

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.

Archant

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy awards, Green Book stars 2017 Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali together with Viggo Mortensen and tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between a highly regarded black musician and his Italian/American driver from the Bronx.

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy awards, Green Book stars 2017 Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali together with Viggo Mortensen and tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between a highly regarded black musician and his Italian/American driver from the Bronx.

When classical pianist, Doctor Don Shirley books a concert tour of America’s deep south, he enlists tough nightclub bouncer Tony ‘The Lip’ Vallelonga to act as his driver and bodyguard.

Armed with The Green Book, a motoring guide for safe travel through a racially segregated America, the pair from vastly different backgrounds set off on a road trip that will change their attitudes toward one another.

Peter Farrelly known for directing zany comedies such as Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, tackles his first serious film and manages to keep a steady thread of humour running throughout.

The lightness of tone may not sit well with everyone due to the serious subject matter, however the film is full of warmth and features two of Hollywood’s acting heavyweights on top form.

Both rightfully Oscar nominated for their performances, and Ali winning his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role, the pair elevate what could otherwise have been a rather simplistic, odd couple road movie.

Ali brings an elegance to the dignified yet aloof Doctor Shirley and Mortensen takes a character, who should in theory be the film’s bad guy due to his racist views, and fills him full of likeable charm.

Linda Cardelini provides support as Tony’s loving wife Dolores and is the subject of the film’s most touching moments, as Dr Shirley helps Tony add a poetic flair to the love letters he sends back home.

Green Book’s critics claim the film plays fast and loose with the facts.

Apparently, Doctor Shirley’s relatives weren’t consulted during the making of the film and it is based purely on accounts from the Vallelonga family.

There is also a valid argument that the film won Best Picture ahead of more worthy entries.

However true this may be, there is no denying there is enjoyment to be had from watching Green Book.

Admittedly that enjoyment comes mostly from watching the interplay between the two leads and not from any deep dissection of racial prejudice, but judged on its merits alone, of which there are many, Green Book is a beautifully acted film with its heart very much in the right place.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter