Green Book is 2018 American biographical comedy drama film directed by Peter Farrelly. It is set in 1962 and is inspired by the true story of a tour in the Deep South by Jamaican American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Marhershala Ali) and Italian American bouncer Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) who was Don’s bodyguard and driver. The film is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, a 20th century guidebook for African American travelers written by Victor Hugo Green, to help them find restaurants and motels that would accept them during the time of major racial segregation and sunset towns.
Tony Vallelonga was bouncer at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City, but is looking for work when the club closes for renovations. He eventually gets interviewed by “Doc” Don Shirley, an African American pianist who is looking for a driver for his eight week concert tour through the Deep South and Midwest. Don hires Tony. The make plans to return to New York for Christmas Eve. Don’s record label gives Tony a copy of the Green Book to help find motels and restaurants that will accept African Americans.
At first Tony is a bit racist and also stereotypes blacks. He realizes that Don is not a typical negro, as Don has never heard many popular black singers like Little Richard and Aretha Franklin and has never eaten fried chicken. Don’s life is both good and bad. Whites often treat him bad and like a normal black guy. He isn’t allowed to buy a suit at white man owned store, he can’t use the main bathroom at a mansion he’s performing at, doesn’t get proper dressing rooms and can’t eat with Tony at a restaurant and hotel he’s playing at. Tony and Don eventually become friends and Tony stands up for Don.
This film shows how negros were treated during racial segregation and Jim Crow. It teaches us about friendship, standing up for yourself and others, that race doesn’t matter and to believe in yourself and the ones you care about. This film featuring racism is one, if the best right next to Hidden Figures, The Help and Do the Right Thing. This story is so powerful and Ali and Mortensen are outstanding. Truly the best film of 2018 and one of the best I believe of all time. Not one second is it boring, it’s wonderful from beginning to end.
You laugh, you cry, get angry and your heart is warmed. This film deserved every award it received and the ones it didn’t. Every piece of music is perfect from the doo-wop and Motown to the Don Shirley Trio. Viggo and Marhershala’s finest work. Even if this film isn’t one hundred percent accurate, the story and what you learn from it makes up for it. This film that will stand the test time and is one to add every movie collection. Two thumbs WAY up! 18+ 5/5