Review of “Green Book” at PFF27
by Kathia Woods
"Greenbook" is the story of an odd but meaningful friendship between concert pianist Dr. Don Shirley and Tony Lip an Italian-American Bouncer.
Dr. Shirley is about to embark on a concert tour in the deep South. He is in need of a driver and hires Tony Lip. An Italian American mob-connected bigot. Neither is thrilled with the other however one needs the job and the other the muscle. So this odd couple embarks on a concert tour through the deep south.
Lip in the driver's seat while Shirley sat comfortably and blanketed in the back. This picture alone screams disaster; however, this movie is not about the obvious but the character that revealed on such a journey. Viggo Mortenson is magnificent as Tony Lip. The added weight is natural and the Bronx Italian accent is spot-on. Tony is ill-mannered, harsh and can eat for days. At the beginning of this trip he views this as a means to make money while he's on a two-month hiatus from his bouncer job; however, he starts to see the world beyond the comfort of his Bronx neighborhood. He sees firsthand how the world treats a black man.
Marshala Ali is equally brilliant as the bougie Dr. Don Shirley. His character struggles with trying to find his place in this world. He's to educate and refined to fit in with Black Folks, and his skin is not the right shade to be accepted by whites. As a person of color that has acquired money, educations, and stature he is stuck in the middle. A middle that at times that can be very lonely. Marshala portrays that beautifully in this movie. We feel empathy for him when he's displayed liked a trophy in the white homes but isn't allowed to use the restroom in that same home. There are moments we can't stand him especially when he chastises Tony like a child. Tony teaches Shirley to enjoy life more and wait for it embraces his blackness. Shirley encourages him to be more romantic. "Greenbook" is a movie that reminds us all that you're never too old to change.
Diversity Ranking - 9 the two central characters are black and white. No other supporting minorities other than the valet.
Scale overall- 9 Dialogue and acting outstanding.