Green Book is reminiscent of the type of film that Hollywood studios used to produce during the early nineties. It’s slickly produced, well acted, and features a light touch on material that could have been botched in less capable hands. Director Peter Farrelly does an outstanding job telling the story and his casting choices are perfect which aid in getting the audience to identify and then care for the two individuals that are at the forefront of this true story.
Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is a world-class African-American pianist, who is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.
Green Book contains numerous subtle pleasures as the picture plays out. While the story may have some predictable elements it’s the outstanding craftsmanship in every department that really brings the movie home. Absolutely winning performances from both Mortensen and Ali make Green Book not only one of the years’ best films but, arguably, its most pleasing as well. A staggering achievement from Peter Farrelly one half of the filmmaking duo that brought us comedic classics like Dumb & Dumber, Something About Mary, and Kingpin.
Director: Peter Farrelly
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini