Film Review: Green Book (2019)

by - February 21, 2019

Green Book (2019) is a biographical comedy-drama directed by Peter Farrelly. The Oscar nominated film stars Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, who is lined up to win Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars this weekend. This film follows the journey of Tony Vallelonga (Mortensen) as he drives pianist Don Shirley (Ali) on his tour down the south, and see the racist behaviours the south had in the early 1960s.

Green Book (2019) - source: Universal Pictures
Green Book (2019) - source: Universal Pictures

This was a film that I had a chance to see at the end of last year, thanks to the Cineworld Unlimited Secret Screening. However, this screening was on when there was terrible weather where I lived and getting back home that late of a night would have been hard for me, so I had to skip it. I was disappointed when I learnt that it was Green Book, as it is a film that I have been anticipating for months now. I knew I had to go out and see this film as soon as I could, especially since I knew it would be a frontrunner in the Oscar race this year.

There is no shock for me that this film has several nominations for the Oscars, because I found this to be a fantastic film. A lot of that has to come down to Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali's performances, which are both stellar. I was sold on both of their characters instantly, and the progression that they go on throughout this journey. Ali deserves the Oscar that he is certainly going to win on Sunday night, and it is a shame that the Best Actor category is so close and full of outstanding performances, because Mortensen gives a hell of a performance as Tony Vallelonga.

What drives this story forward is the script, and this script is absolutely fantastic. I know some people have had problems with the script, purely because Tony's real life son, Nick Vallelonga, helped write the script for the film. However, I still feel like both of the lead characters were well realised. They had real development of character to their story, and they felt like real people. You come out of the cinema feeling like you truly went on a journey with these guys.

Green Book (2019) - source: Universal Pictures
Green Book (2019) - source: Universal Pictures

The cinematography in this film is also stunning. I love the shots of the car and the road journey, as that helps create a sense of adventure. It is the cinematography that brings out the true darkness of the south in the 1960s, and the world is well realised. The further south the characters go on a journey, the worse that Shirley gets treated. It is hard to watch, but it is a must to see. Farrelly gets a perfect tone to this movie, adding comedy where it needed to for an easier and more enjoyable watch.

When talking about Green Book, there needs to be talk about how this film handled the racism aspects. Here, I felt it was handled with sophistication and grace. It never dominated the screen or took away from the main focus of the relationship between the two main characters, but it was the driving plot of the film as Don goes on to try and tackle the issue of racism in the south. There were some major scenes near the end of the film that really hit the message hard, and they were incredibly well written and realised.

Green Book (2019) - source: Universal Pictures
Green Book (2019) - source: Universal Pictures

I would certainly have no complaints if Green Book ended up taking home Best Picture at the Oscars. This is a beautiful tale of friendship that isn't afraid to tackle harder issues and do it well. This film has something for everyone and I really did love this film. Please go and check this one out.


Have you seen Green Book yet? Are you cheering it on at the Oscars this weekend? Let me know in the comments below.

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