Surprisingly Good Character-Driven Story *spoilers after the ads*
An Italian man, Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) gets hired as a driver/body guard by a world class pianist, Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali). Add in the fact that it’s around the 1960’s (I think) and that the tour is through the deep South.
- I think they got lazy on the title of the movie. It’s definitely more about the two guys, not about the green book, which tells Tony Lip where it’s safe for them to find hotels.
- Racism is one of the main points of tension.
- Character development is pretty strong in both of these guys.
- It’s “based on a true story.” Normally, I question just how much is actually based on the story, but this one seems like one where they pretty closely followed the kinds of things that would happen on a trip like this.
- Moretensen’s definitely not Aragorn here, but he still does a stellar job bringing the character to life. Ali’s definitely not whoever he plays in Alita, but he too does a great job bringing the pianist some life.
- They played a lot of the funny moments in the trailer and saved a lot of the tense moments for the real deal.
- The woman who plays Tony’s wife, Delores, (Linda Cardellini) is great as a supporting actress. The rest of the family just sort of blended into a blur of Tony’s extended family.
- Ending: simple yet powerful.
A worthwhile movie if you’re in the mood for a character piece that centers on racism. I guess it helps that I happen to like both of the main actors.
Associate links to follow…
(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 ….)
The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family. Kid friendly.
If fantasy’s more your thing, go Redeemer Chronicles. The first, Awakening, is available as an audiobook.
Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.
Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.
Powerful moments and Commentary:
- I loved the end scene where they end up at the tiny dive bar/dance club for colored people and Dr. Shirley plays.
- Tony’s street smarts saves them several times, but his hot head also gets them in trouble a few times as well. I like that not everything could be solved with a few punches, sometimes they had to bluff their way out of things.
- The piano pieces were beautiful, but this is definitely one of those movies where it’s about the journey itself, not the performances.
- The road to racial peace still hasn’t been forged completely, but it’s nice to have stories like this that show small glimpses of hope. It also shows us where we’ve come from as a nation, which should help us define where we’re going to go from here.