I’ve been hearing good things about “Green Book” for quite some time, ever since the awards season buzz started, so naturally I added to my To Watch list. The trailer was intriguing and fun and I love Viggo Mortensen, although not a big fan of Mahershala Ali.
I saw it a couple of days ago, just in time for the Golden Globes and loved it. “Green Book” is a fun, sweet movie, with character development, life lessons and great music. It tells the story of a famous pianist who hires an Italian-American driver to help navigate the South of the US for eight weeks.
One of the first things you notice about the movie is the cinematography. Also the sets, because the decor was amazing, and I loved almost every shot of the film. It captured that time frame (the 50s) perfectly, and with the help of the amazing music and soundtrack, visually, it was a pleasure to watch.
Story-wise, it’s not particularly entertaining or nail-baiting. It is saved by the dynamic between the main characters, and especially Viggo Mortensen’s portrayal of Toni Lip, the driver. It had its sweet moments (the Doctor helping Tony with his letters), its funny ones (the Kentucky Fried Chicken), but also tough and frustrating scenes (the treatment that black people had to endure in that time of age).
As for acting, I can’t fault anything. Mahershala Ali did a good job playing the distinguished pianist who needs help on a tour down South, and was a great match for Toni. It is Viggo Mortensen who completely steals the show, at least from my point of view. Although he is in his least attractive role, physically at least, he compensates by providing one of the most charismatic performances I have ever seen. Tony is a simple, straightforward guy, with a heart of gold and a bullshit radar.
So, I highly recommend “Green Book” and I really hope it gets some awards love in the next couple of months. It’s a fun movie, perfect to enjoy when you need something sweet and simple.