Green Book (2018) Poster

(2018)

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8/10
Are We There Yet?
martindonovanitaly26 December 2018
A journey of reawakening in a Country like ours - Gore Vidal called it the United States Of Amnesia - the absurdity of the behavior in the Southern communities even the kindest ones have a jarring effect. Viggo Mortensen is sheer perfection as the all American Italian. The opening of his heart and of his mind is a total joy and Mahershala Ali provides another magnetic character to his already rich list of magnetic characters but what makes this film fly so high is the humanity that Mortensen and Ali infuse their characters with. I loved them and Green Book provided me with one of the most satisfying endings of 2018. It leaves you with the hopeful thought that perhaps we're not there yet but that we are on our way. Happy New Year!
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10/10
"Green Book" is Gold
taylor_king-890-81549125 November 2018
We loved Green Book along with the sold-out crowd who applauded loudly at the end. Based on true story of piano virtuoso, Don Shirley's road trip through the south during the 60's, the film pays tribute to his genius and courage as a black man who tries hard to soar above the ugliness of the times. The elegant trappings of his home and his success as a concert pianist leave him arrogantly cold and lonely, but his life begins to change when he hires Tony as his road trip driver. With a history as nightclub bouncer with Mafia connections in New York, Tony is the antithesis of Don's perfection and their evolving relationship on the road makes the movie soar above the ordinary and become magical. Viggo and Ali in the main roles are remarkable, and it's funny and endearing to watch them discard stereotypes and discover their mutual humanity. What we liked best is the movie teaches without preaching, it all unfolds through a myriad of natural moments between two great actors and a strong supporting cast. Top all this off with a really good soundtrack, excellent direction and production values, and an audience that laughed out loud and vigorously applauded at the end...this one is a true 10!
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10/10
I Was Captivated
Hitchcoc19 January 2019
I saw Don Shirley perform in college in 1966. At the time I simply thought he was a hell of a pianist, using that bass and cello to come up with a unique sound. So when this movie came along, I thought "I saw that guy!" I know the critics are being hard on this film, but I sat for two hours, totally captivated. I know there are stereotypes. Could that be because the repeated actions against minorities and the actions of racists have become so commonplace they seem like stereotypes. I believe the performances of these two fine actor made the show. There is a subtlety to this movie that transcends many others of its type. Yes, there are Southern cops; yes, there are men's rooms that are off limits; yes, there are simplistic views of racism by white New Yorkers. But what I got was a realistic presentation of an evolving friendship. Shirley is abrasive and self-centered; Lip is clueless most of the time. And I believed in them. See this film.
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9/10
Greatful to have seen this
Lotus-318 September 2018
I saw this at the premier at TIFF and was thrilled to learn the story is about a real friendship. This is not a typical road movie, or buddy film. Given the lead actors, I knew it would be something special, and it is. Entertaining, funny in parts, hard to accept in others - as a white american who wasn't around in the 1960's, the racism was mind boggling and I couldn't help but feel shame. Green Book has so many layers - family, culture, honesty, dignity, genius, respect, acceptance, stereotypes, racism, music, class, friendship, and fried chicken. Whatever your views, race, or age - this film is not 'preachy', but you should appreciate an honest portrayal of a difficult time & place in history. I'll use the term an "unlikely friendship", but knowing the two men were real makes it fantastic. I'm so grateful to have learned about them and their lives. I only wish there had been a Q&A afterward.
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10/10
Simply wonderful in its portrayal of humanity
ColoDrz26 December 2018
Green Book is a wonderful story of overcoming self-condemnation, and the resulting freedom it provides. As the film begins, Tony is locked in a prison of judgment and rejection, not from any conscious effort on his own but rather his circumstances and environment. As the self-assured and self-aware character of Dr. Shirley is introduced into Tony's life, Tony embarks on a journey of self-discovery in which he is forced to confront his own preconceived notions which ultimately stem from his skewed view of himself. As Dr. Shirley helps Tony to see himself as a man beyond his own limiting thoughts, Tony is finally able to step into his true nature as friend to Dr. Shirley. Everywhere in this film we are reminded that people are complicated, but beyond these complications we are also reminded that everyone is the same, just looking for love and acceptance. The scene where Dolores reads Tony's letter to her cousins is spectacular in this regard. It's interesting that none of the other reviews mention the YMCA scene and aftermath, which for me was the pinnacle moment that the power shifted for these two characters confronting their own strengths and weaknesses. This film is simply wonderful in its portrayal of humanity, and the people we need in our lives. While it comes to light that Tony's wife Dolores is completely aware of her husband's imperfections and shortcomings, she loves him just the same. But it is confrontation, not love, that is necessary to bring about Tony's redemption, demonstrating that the people who spur us to deep, personal growth are never who or what we expect.
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9/10
Critic-proof festival hit should be big holiday winner
Art Snob22 September 2018
Some of my movie friends were stunned when I mentioned in a thread that this was my "People's Choice Award" vote for TIFF 2018 (it won, btw). I generally go for weightier fare, so my being won over by a PG-13 road film with the familiar "they-couldn't-have-been-more-different" premise directed by the auteur co-responsible for such recent classics as "Dumb and Dumber To" and "The Three Stooges" elicited a virtual double-take.

But I couldn't help it ... it really WAS the best film I saw (out of 17), and far and away the most entertaining. I think this is largely because it's based on a real-life story about the beginning of a lifelong friendship - a story that has writing participation by the son of one of the real-life characters. There's definitely an air of authenticity to the events as they unfold that could never occur with a purely contrived plot. Consider: A college-educated concert pianist of Jamaican descent hires a temporarily-unemployed Italian-American nightclub bouncer who's streetwise but academically dim to drive him to venues in the Deep South back in 1962. That's not a setup that a Hollywood script written from scratch would ever have come up with.

The two lead actors really click. Mahershala Ali makes a nice Oscar follow-up playing the aloof pianist passenger to Viggo Mortensen's "b.s. artist" driver. Ali is certain to get another nomination; Mortensen's performance may be a little too broad to garner one, but he delivers exactly what's called for. And he makes a believable Italian-American, which is impressive considering that he's Danish.

I'm allergic to preaching and heavy-handedness in movies no matter what the message, and with the exception of one borderline scene, I'd say that the movie nicely sidesteps these proclivities that surface so often in socially-conscious films.

The music and FX are excellent. When an actor plays a piano player, there's always the challenge of making the playing look believable. It doesn't get any better than it gets here - Ali's piano playing is every bit as convincing as Margot Robbie's ice skating in I, TONYA. You never see a disconnect between hands and body as he's filmed against a variety of backgrounds. And if I could bet on an Oscar win right now, it would be Kris Bowers for Best Original Score. (He also supplies Ali's hands, which should clinch it.)

Top everything off with a Capra-esque Christmas Eve finale and a closing line that sends everyone home smiling, and it all adds up to a monster hit. Its commercial payoff could be huge - the movie practically begs for a TV series spinoff, and the real-life characters remained friends until they both died in 2013.

So congratulations to Peter Farrelly on his graduation from co-directing lowbrow fare to solo-directing middlebrow (i.e. mass-appeal) fare. You can't deny the talent and craftsmanship it takes to make a mainstream movie that works as well as this one does.
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10/10
Finally...Well-written, well-acted Movie
rphshell26 November 2018
This picture should be up for BEST PICTURE. It has everything: great acting, solid script-writing (something that Hollywood really needs), and lots of humor. I wish that Hollywood would make more pictures like this.
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10/10
Struggle of the Protagonists
hilaryswank20115 February 2019
This film's core thought and social issues are obviously embodied by the African American pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who educated at USSR and hires a Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) as his driver/ assistant for musical performance tour across the continent of US from the north (N.Y.City) to the south (Birmingham, Alabama) in post war era.

Two social issues are concerned here rather than the lack of literacy of the working class protagonist Tony. One is class relationship of the capitalist class and the working class; the other one is that the African origin and the Caucasian.

The family relationship (loneliness caused by Tony's tour assistant job which has an emotional effect between both Tony and his wife) is something additional to this core social issues concerned in this film.

Among all the locations they traveled, I personally familiar with Louisville, KY where the famous Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) lived as a hometown, KFC also headquartered in that town.

When Toni enjoys KFC fried chickens and throws its born and a coke away from the car window during driving on the town road, we can clearly know his disgusting bad behaviour that makes working class look like a bit unenlightened. It also makes us uncomfortable while seeing the film.

However, the fight scene in the bar at that town is a resemblance to what had happened to Muhammad Ali during his earlier age in Louisville that he was refused from entering a restaurant in that way.

Besides this, the abusive Caucasian police officers falsely flag and arrest Don and Tony at sundown town during car driving on the rainy day. This kind of racist tendency is also a typical everyday scene in the American society.

A capitalist/African American pianist Don teaches illiterate Tony during his job on the tour to help him sending far better written letters to his wife as a sign of Tony's personal development and improvement of his disgusting behaves.

The most tensioned moment of this film is when Don refuses to do the final performance after he gets discriminated by the conservative racist restaurant manager from entering the place for a dinner.

His brave decision to break the deal under such awkward business occasion is nether for the business profit nor reputation but it is for protecting his human dignity. Remember making a decision is an essence of plotting and the entire story telling to express something important and identifiable for audiences and society in general.



Of course, the film is not a far left class war stuff, it is ordinarily intended to harmonise both racial difference and class conflict with such happy ending. The entire framework of film construction is a typical capitalist one.
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7/10
Not to say it isn't a decent movie...
AlsExGal23 February 2019
... just that it's so inoffensive, safe, and cliche that I feel like I've seen it a million times before. Mortensen and Ali are terrific actors, and I am thankful for them. Without their charisma (and Viggo's willingness to shove insane amounts of food down his throat), I fear Green Book would be dead on arrival.

Mostly, I think this is a movie that's desperately afraid of 'offending' anyone. For instance: if there's a scene with racist cops, there will also be a scene with a good cop down the road, just to make clear that the movie is not stating or suggesting that 'all cops are/were racist'. It's also funny that the good-cop scene happens in the snow, to let us know the characters are back in a blue state, where supposedly life wasn't so bad for a black man after all! This is one of the many simplistic moves that indicate to me that the filmmakers were willing to sacrifice the complexities of their themes for a feel-good entertainment.

The script wants both characters to 'learn' from each other and eventually change and grow, but to make this happen, it turns them into unrealistic caricatures. It's a bit frightening how Shirley is portrayed as a complete ignorant of black culture, but it had to be this way so Tony can be the one to 'introduce' him to it. Tony's transformation comes simply from witnessing racism first hand, as if he never experienced such a thing in his life before - maybe another consequence of this being a blue state-red state movie??

So besides the performances, that speak for themselves, I think it's a very uninspired effort. At one point the characters leave the car for no reason other than to have a dramatic confrontation in the rain, as if rainy night equals 'dramatic weight'. I saw it in a packed movie theater and people seemed to enjoy it. You can't blame them. The movie has a 'now everything's fine' conclusion that can leave audiences in a good state of mind - but it also shows how simplistic it really is.
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8/10
A perfect example of Yin & Yang - and black and white has nothing to do with it.
TheTopDawgCritic2 January 2019
Outstanding true story film showing that color doesn't define us, but how we act ourselves and towards others, does.

Great performances from the entire cast, especially Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali who were perfectly cast and convincing in their roles. It was also great to see comedian Sebastian Maniscalco in this film as well.

Writer, director and producer Peter Farrelly nailed every aspect of this biography.

The score, cinematography, sets and visuals were all on point.

I'm not a fan of slow paced long films, but this was was close to an exception. I feel if the pace was picked up a bit and/or the 130 min run-time edited down to around 110 mins, this would have been a perfect 10 from me.

Excellent drama and comedy perfectly positioned throughout the film.

A well deserved 8/10 from me.
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9/10
Respect demands respect
MarteParte15 January 2019
A very inspiring film. I walked out of the cinema feeling like there is good even in the unlikeliest of people. The dialogue was well written, and the main characters were equally as loveable. Viggo Mortensens acting was only overshadowed by that of Mahershala Ali, whose portrayal of an educated african-american man living in 1960's america was both heartwrenching and absolutely hilarious. While Mortensen stood for most of the comic relief, I found myself laughing the hardest from Ali's deadpan deliveries through the character of Dr. Shirley.

The story of a black man who struggles to gain the respect of his fellow african-americans, while simultaneously resisting and pulling at the roots of the racism and oppression which keeps him from being as successful as the americans and europeans who should be his equals by all measures musical and educational.

While the story and plot left little to be desired. I felt one or two jokes were shoe-horned in and would have been better discarded. The visual tone was fitting to the film, but the camerawork was nothing out of the ordinary. Not all films call for out-of-this-world originality in all marks however. And this film allows the audience to focus on what is really important.
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10/10
GO SEE THIS FILM!
chloedevoy21 September 2018
I saw this at TIFF and loved it from beginning to end. It's a moving true story about two people who forge an unlikely friendship. Thought-provoking but never preachy.
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10/10
Best example of the power of cinema
mhope-9160124 November 2018
Who could've ever greenlit "Green Book"? A (mostly) true story of two men of completely different backgrounds overcoming their own prejudices and the stifling racism of the Deep South of the early 1960s. We'll hire a Danish guy to play an Italian guy, and a guy best known for playing a political fixer and a dope dealer (in "House of Cards" and "Moonlight", respectively) to play a Jamaican-American musical genius. And we'll have one of the Farrelly brothers direct it. How could that possibly become a great movie? Well, it does- primarily through the great performances of Viggo Jorgensen and Mahershala Ali, and the nuanced directing of Peter Farrelly. It confronts the racism prevalent at the time without becoming preachy, and shows its main characters growing through contact with each other, without a complete reversal of their characters (which would've seemed phony). Oh, and the movie looks great, too- the period cars, sets, and costumes really take you back to that time period. A film festival favorite, "Green Book" will hopefully be appreciated by Oscar voters, too.
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7/10
A review as a respons to other (negative) reviews.
BassLightyear26 February 2019
I understad why a lot of critics don't like this film, but at the same time I feel like they're making up their minds about what they think the movie is - or should - be about. They (who disagree with the film) will say that it diminishes the horrors that the black community faced in America during the 50's - and because of that they think it's a bad film. But I thought it was a good film; in my opinion it's not a movie about Shirley and his struggles facing ruthless racism - it's about Tony Lip's psychologically reforming journey changing his mind about black people through the witnessing of Shirley's experiences. And it's that central story line the critics are disagreeing with and eschews the whole film on the premiss that it should've been about something else (Shirley journey - not Tony's).

There are thousands - if not millions - of films about racism towards black people and their culture, and Green Book had a different perspective than the rest of them - by not focusing on the racism but on how the racism changed a man who wasn't a target of it. But that's obviously a big no-no according to these critics.

To me Green Book is about a white man thoroughly changing his whole mindset about something that he'd been condition to abide to his whole life.
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10/10
Oscar Noms for both leads and director/screenwriters in order here!
djrathbun31 October 2018
I saw this film in a preview here in Calgary.

I've seen Mortensen in films before and thought he was an okay film actor. His embodiment of Tony Lip is totally immersive. I not only believe his Bronx character, but depiction of Tony's growth as a human being is remarkable to watch. I can't say enough about Ali's performance as Don Shirley. It is nuanced and impressive.

Watching these two characters interact and change each other is fascinating. This isn't just another road-trip buddy movie. It is funny, it is poignant and it is a brilliantly written and crafted film.

The only drawback is, you will have to wait until US Thanksgiving to see it.
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9/10
Fantastic film, another music themed Oscar nominee
theojhyman12 October 2018
Just caught this as the surprise film of the London Film Festival. Such a well written drama with heart, soul and comedic touches, brilliantly performed by the two main actors, and given such an authentic 1962 shiny look to the film by the production designer and cinematographer. A truly great true story with themes that all audiences can connect with - namely, music, family, race, sexuality, friendship and love - and Viggo Mortensen probably gives the performance of a lifetime. Will surely rival A Star is Born at the Oscars in many of the same categories.
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6/10
Great acting....and that's it.
dax-jim17 February 2019
As a light-weight feel good film it works. However if you go into the cinema expecting something a bit more substantial then be prepared for disappointment. The biggest negarive for me was the fact that it is such a predictable movie. Without seeing it I could have written an accurate synopsis based soley on the premise. Definitely overrated for the cinema but ok if you want something easy on the brain at home on a Sunday evening.
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10/10
True Stories For Your Soul
hiphopphotos5 December 2018
One of the reasons why I love this movie is simply because we are soooo much more. We as "Black" people have rich, intriguing, moving, and funny stories-I hate that we are sitting around waiting for the Next Great Director make movies in which the narratives do more than entertain. I hope Tyler Perry would be one of those innovative directors, but now I don't care who tells it-as long as it gets told. Thank you to the writer and director for such a moving movie that touches more than my funny bone.
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7/10
Beautiful but Nothing New
mhmuss23 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Right off the bat I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.the cinematography was beautiful with such rich color pallets. The score was wonderful and set the tone very well. Lastly the acting was incredible. Viggo and Ali shined in their roles and did a great job at portraying their characters.

That said, in my mind the movie was nothing special. It was all very predictable and had a very similar feel to many other civil rights movies in which a black man and a white man start off the movie with a reluctant relationship and slowly warm up to each other as they begin to appreciate their similarities and eachothers troubles and eventually defy all social norms and become good friends. I'm not saying that they shouldn't have become friends because you can't rewrite history and this movie was based on a true story. I just wish that story telling was a bit more ambitious and delved into some of the ideas deeper rather thank making a well made but otherwise mediocre civil rights movie.
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10/10
It takes a lot of courage to change people's thinking.
BiiivAL9 March 2019
The film, from which at first did not expect delight. The film, behind the ease of irony which hides a deep meaning. A film that you watch without stopping, although this is far from a blockbuster that you have been waiting for for years. It's all about Peter Farinelli's Green Book.

The plot tells of a journey through the southern states of a talented black pianist (Mahershala Ali) and his bouncer driver, hired solely for this tour (Viggo Mortenessen). Minor at first sight and a little bydlovaty hero Mortensen during this uncomplicated journey becomes for an esthete pianist a true friend, support and even a treasure of useful knowledge about life and society, and he draws from the boss useful skills in aesthetics, love of art and good parenting.

The plot is very simple, the film looks incredibly easy. Dialogues are written ironically, absolutely not boring, but at the same time they remain filled with meaning for the viewer. The relationship between the characters is the main motive of the film. And how could so different people in all respects be able to become each other friends for life in a few weeks?

It should be noted that the leitmotif of 'racism', which at that time was still extremely common in America, especially in the south, was incredibly subtly written. All these hotels are for 'colored', individual cafes, pools and even latrines .. the nuances of that time in the film are shown perfectly, and so that you yourself feel ashamed that this existed. I literally wanted to stand up and give the characters in the face in several scenes.

Surprisingly, the director Peter Farinelli had previously shot mostly comedies (and mostly with his brother), and this is his first film in the comedy drama genre. From my point of view, he handled it perfectly and I would love to see what else he would film later, although I can't say before that I set him apart as an interesting director. Perhaps it was the fact that the film was made only by Peter Farenelli very strongly contributed to the 'nobility' of the picture in terms of humor.

The funny fact is that one of the screenwriters of the film is Nick Vallelonga, his father was the prototype of the main character Frank (Tony Chatterun) Vallelonga. The script was written on the basis of dictation records made by Nick Vallelonga. Later on these records, Viggo Mortensen learns to speak Italian, because his hero is Italian.

The film was shot in the spirit of the 60s, beautiful cars of that time are very well shown, the art of the costume, the receptions in the large houses of the rich public (some 'Gone with the Wind' is immediately remembered)

This film is simple, kind, sincere. Without any strain, without life horrors, you know, where someone dies, someone is killed or someone is in prison. The atmosphere of the film is "soft" and light. You literally find yourself in this time, with terrific cars of all colors of the rainbow, men in flawless day costumes of all colors, gentlemen with whiskey at the bar in hotels listening to the brilliant pianist.

The Green Book is not a picture of slavery, racism and humiliation, although it touches on these topics. The Green Book is a film about honesty, human dignity, true friendship and mutual support between people. The film is about the fact that it is very difficult to change the ingrained thinking of society alone, even if you are brilliant and famous.

By viewing required.
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10/10
A real audience pleaser
jfadler21 October 2018
This movie has it all......it's a true story done just right. The audience clapped and clapped when the movie ended and no one got up until the last credit rolled. It's hard to believe that this was 1962 and even more frightening to think that some of the behaviors in the movie are being duplicated today in this country. It's a movie that is worth seeing again and again, it's that good and realistic.
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8/10
Simply wonderful
Teatro8518 January 2019
This is not a typical road movie, funny in parts, hard to accept in others.Green Book has so many layers - family, culture, honesty, dignity, genius, respect, acceptance, stereotypes, racism, music, class, friendship, and fried chicken. Viggo Mortensen brilliant performance.
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10/10
The music and cars alone...
bron-tay29 November 2018
This movie is not only smart and funny, it is incredibly watchable and enjoyable. The cars, the food, the clothes, the background music, the piano playing, the faces and voices of the character actors -- not a dull frame.

To story, writing, directing -- This movie avoided the traps that road-trip buddy movies faceplant into. Scenes that easily could have been trite and corny were fresh and sharp. No punches pulled, people ground into the dirt and resurrected by sheer strength of will. Some of the events were so painful and unsparing that I had no idea how the movie would end.

Another big thing, the movie wasn't cynical despite some of the ugliness it reveals. Faith, family, honor, are all part of the movie without being in your face. You'll fall in love with the characters.
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10/10
Spot on. Magnificent.....
debsw3528 October 2018
I was fortunate enough to see this at a Directors Guild Screening last night. Wow!! Characters, dialogue, sets, costumes, cars..... really transported me to an era I had not experienced. I was sad when the movie ended... the mark of a great film. The scene with the fried chicken in the car was priceless. I could watch it 1000 times.I sense oscar nods for Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen, art department, costumes, writer(s) and director. Absolutely amazing..... Do not hesisitate to see this!!!
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9/10
A good old-fashioned feel-good movie
MOscarbradley15 January 2019
If "Green Book" does win the Oscar for Best Picture, as some people think it might, then I for one won't complain. There are, of course, better pictures, ("Roma" and "The Favourite" to name two), but this extremely well-made, nicely directed, intelligently scripted, (if at times a little too obvious in its heart-tugging sentimentality), and very well acted movie ticks all the boxes. It's a feelgood film of the old-fashioned kind that can look back at the bad old days of segregation rather smugly from its 21st Century perspective without feeling particularly smug.

It's a movie about how two mismatched people, (a chain-smoking, rough speaking Italian-American and an African-American you might even call 'uppity'), who, on a long road trip in the Deep South in the early sixties, bestow on each other the gifts of friendship and humanity. Even if you knew nothing of the 'true' story of the musician Don Shirley and his driver you can predict the outcome from the get-go. Of course, it also helps that it's also very funny despite the seriousness of the material and that leads Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are so damn good, (Ali's second Oscar in three years looks like it's already in the bag). It is, then, something of a treat and might even convince you to seek out the music of Don Shirley.
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