Dir. Peter Farrelly
Reviewed by Matt (@Cleric20) Adcock
“Being genius is not enough, it takes courage to change people's hearts.”
Every now and then you find a film director switching up and refining their style – and here we have Peter ‘There’s Something About Mary’ delivering a classy, good-natured road-trip relationship heart warmer rather than his staple more shock-em-up comedy.
Green Room tells the based-on-fact tale of Tony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo ‘A History of Violence’ Mortensen), a tough guy bouncer with a good heart. When the club he works at is shut for renovations he takes a two-month job as driver for the African-American classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala ‘True Detective’ Ali) for a potentially problematic concert tour into the segregated Deep South states.
The two men with very little in common come to learn a lot from each other as they face adversity and racism that you’d find hard to believe if it wasn’t based on a portion of near history. The Green Book of the title is a guide for ‘The Negro Motorist’ issued to Tony which lists hotels that will allow his cultured, genius, virtuoso boss to stay or even buy something to eat.
"classy double act"
The film, co-written by Vallelonga’s son Nick, packs a superb emotional punch thanks to the two central performances. Watching these men form a real bond of lasting friendship, overcoming mistrust and prejudices is a message of what’s possible if we just look beyond the outside and see each other as fellow humans.
This is a great film that really should be seen by as wide an audience as possible – not just for the strong positive message at its heart but also for the experience of diving through well-drawn characters that bring family, culture, dignity and respect entertainingly to life.
Green Book is up for 5 Oscars and the superb performances from Ali and Mortensen whose rapport and chemistry crackle from the screen deserve recognition. Each take what could have been one-note characters and unpack the issues each man has – creating an effective treatise on the inner isolation, masochism and expectations of presenting a ‘strong front’ that men everywhere have to deal with.
"love letter help"
Great cinema has the power to challenge, uplift and inspire all at once and Green Book is a film that will re-ignite hope in mankind, and, could even potentially make you leave wanting to be a better human being.
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Delivers big time friendship, chemistry and feels)
Awesomeness öööö – Hard to believe some of this happened (but glad it did)
Laughs ööö – Nicely balanced laughs throughout
Horror öö – Racism can't be tolerated
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Friendship crosses cultural boundaries
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