Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Green Book, the new film that is receiving loads of Oscar buzz which has already won a swag of awards. If you ask me, it’s all completely justified. Green Book is one of the best films that I’ve seen lately, and it’s all based on an incredible true story.
Set in 1962, Viggo Mortensen stars as Tony Lip, a hard nut bouncer working at The Copacabana. When The Copa closes for renovations, Tony finds himself out of work and bored. Pressure from his wife leads him into looking for work, and he gets a tip about some work as a driver. Tony heads to the interview where he meets his potential employer, Dr Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, an over the top African-American Jazz musician whose apartment is full of all sorts of exotic artefacts. Don is about to embark on an extensive performing tour of the Deep South along with his other two band members.
Hesitant at first, Tony finally accepts the jobs and the two soon set off on their tour with Tony taking on the role of Dr Shirley’s driver and bodyguard. At first the two butt heads, having come from very different backgrounds. But over the duration of the tour, the two bond, grow and evolve together, coming out of it as better people.
Green Book is fantastic. The acting is superb with the chemistry between Mortensen and Ali being electric. Their portrayals really convey the story and relationship between the two characters. I can understand why this film has received so many nominations. Green Book also nailed the balance of drama and the comedy. I found the use of humour in the film quite refreshing. The cinematography is also great as is something you would expect from a road trip film. We see so much of the American countryside and it is captured perfectly.
Mahershala Ali is a huge stand out in this picture, not just for his acting but also for his piano playing. Ali worked for months with musician Kris Bowers to develop his character and also learned to play the piano for this role. This really shows in Green Book as he looks completely natural in the piano scenes.
To be honest, I can’t really fault Green Book. It has everything and the story is amazing. I highly recommend seeing it and is personally my pick for both Best Picture and Best Actor at this year’s Oscars.