Green Book

Green Book, 2018 film starring  Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali and Linda Cardellini.  Powerful story of a friendship that began in the midst of severe racism in the early 60’s.

An Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist after his job is sidelined for a couple of months while the club is being renovated.  Tony Lip (Mortensen) is a working class man who has been convinced, along with the masses that African American’s are to be treated differently, poorly and sub class.  He needs work so he reluctantly agrees to take on the job as driver for pianist Don Shirley though he is hardly happy about working for a black man.  They head to the deep south with The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for safe travel through America’s racially segregated area’s.  They do run into some of America’s most appalling injustices of the time period which leads the two to gain mutual respect for each other, a respect and friendship that would last them the rest of their lives.

I saw and read all the hype about this and it was accurate, a great film with a good story (true at that).  The acting was great, Viggo reminded me of a typical Italian mobster type from back then.  It was great to see the transition from him being a bigoted, tough male to the man he ended up being.  It’s a shame the way people acted back then but they were the times, hopefully people see what it was like and learn from it, not hold it against them.

The props and costumes and even town settings looked very period accurate to me but what do I know, I wasn’t around then but there is lots of footage and pics of the period.  Ali played the role of snobbish piano player very well and that of a black man heading into the deep south in the 60’s knowing what he would face.

This was a very good, deep story that I am glad I had the chance to see.  I know it won a couple of Golden Globes and am sure that one, if not more of it’s five Oscar nominations will win.  A great watch that I recommend to all.