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Westside Steve

Green Book review

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Green Book
Universal
PG-13.                130

In this overheated politically-charged climate there are a few subjects that are always going to draw attention and critical acclaim, probably the largest of which is racial division. I was very disappointed with the hateful and over-the-top stereotypes in Spike Lee’s latest and feared, from the description, that GREEN BOOK might be more of the same. I was wrong.  This film is kind of a twist on DRIVING MISS DAISY but reversing the races of the passenger and driver. (Just for clarification the GREEN BOOK is a list of hotels that would allow black people before the Civil Rights Act.)
Mahershala Ali is dr. Shirley, a brilliant  but erudite and snooty musician about to embark on a US tour that will take him to the deep south, not a great place for black people in the early 60s. Viggo Mortensen is Tony Lip, an out of work bouncer looking for a few bucks before Christmas.  Tony doesn’t particularly care for black people nor does the doctor have much affection for the boisterous goomba, but it turns out the working relationship might be a symbiotic coupling.  As the concert tour travels to the Midwest before heading south Tony starts to notice small instances of disrespect from some of the venues, for instance at one concert hall the Steinway specified in the contract has been substituted with a broken down old heap of a piano. Tony confronts the management with a little tough love more in the manner of Sonny Corleone then Mahatma Gandhi and voila, the Steinway magically appears on stage. As mutual respect grows between the two men as the doctor turns Tony on to the value of compromise and classical music while learning about Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Chubby Checker and other black artists favorites of the driver. Situations get stickier as the tour heads South but the bond between the two men grow stronger. Quite a few tense moments abound; some open hostility and some behind the façade Jim Crow era crap which reminded me of Frank Sinatra and his friend Sammy Davis Jr during that time.  But by the time the tour is over and they return to New York at Christmas time the entire ending is as uplifting as anything I’ve seen. You can’t walk out of the theater without loving both these guys, and the mixed crowd at the showing I attended left the theatre smiling at each other. Hopefully that feeling carries on beyond the Christmas season.
(Ps I’m very impressed this was directed by Peter Farrelly of the Farrelly brothers who have produced some of the biggest pieces of crap in the history of filmdom. Nice work Pete.)
A
WSS


 

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Taking my wife to see this this afternoon. As a child I was not aware of the existence of a Green Book, but I became acquainted with separation of races when I was only around 5 or 6. My older brother always took me on the city bus to downtown for swimming lessons at the YMCA and back. But one day he was sick so my mother put me on the bus to go on my own. I always wanted to sit on that bench seat in the back, but some very nice people back there had to tell me I had to sit in front of an overhead sign that did not allow me to be there. Of course I would later understand that in actuality the sign did not allow them to sit in front of it. I still remember to this day how kind they were in telling me what the sign said. They knew I did not understand why I could not go to the bench seat. It was my first taste of what racism meant in the South. It still tastes bad when I hear it today or see some fool brandish the Confederate battleflag on the back of a pickup.

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On 1/6/2019 at 10:28 AM, Westside Steve said:

Green Book
Universal
PG-13.                130
A
WSS

Great recommendation Steve! My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. We rank it up there with Bohemian Rhapsody as our two favorite movies this Oscar season. Thought it was interesting that the two died within months of each other in 2013.

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On 1/6/2019 at 8:28 AM, Westside Steve said:

Green Book
Universal
PG-13.                130

In this overheated politically-charged climate there are a few subjects that are always going to draw attention and critical acclaim, probably the largest of which is racial division. I was very disappointed with the hateful and over-the-top stereotypes in Spike Lee’s latest and feared, from the description, that GREEN BOOK might be more of the same. I was wrong.  This film is kind of a twist on DRIVING MISS DAISY but reversing the races of the passenger and driver. (Just for clarification the GREEN BOOK is a list of hotels that would allow black people before the Civil Rights Act.)
 Mahershala Ali is dr. Shirley, a brilliant  but erudite and snooty musician about to embark on a US tour that will take him to the deep south, not a great place for black people in the early 60s. Viggo Mortensen is Tony Lip, an out of work bouncer looking for a few bucks before Christmas.  Tony doesn’t particularly care for black people nor does the doctor have much affection for the boisterous goomba, but it turns out the working relationship might be a symbiotic coupling.  As the concert tour travels to the Midwest before heading south Tony starts to notice small instances of disrespect from some of the venues, for instance at one concert hall the Steinway specified in the contract has been substituted with a broken down old heap of a piano. Tony confronts the management with a little tough love more in the manner of Sonny Corleone then Mahatma Gandhi and voila, the Steinway magically appears on stage. As mutual respect grows between the two men as the doctor turns Tony on to the value of compromise and classical music while learning about Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Chubby Checker and other black artists favorites of the driver. Situations get stickier as the tour heads South but the bond between the two men grow stronger. Quite a few tense moments abound; some open hostility and some behind the façade Jim Crow era crap which reminded me of Frank Sinatra and his friend Sammy Davis Jr during that time.  But by the time the tour is over and they return to New York at Christmas time the entire ending is as uplifting as anything I’ve seen. You can’t walk out of the theater without loving both these guys, and the mixed crowd at the showing I attended left the theatre smiling at each other. Hopefully that feeling carries on beyond the Christmas season.
 (Ps I’m very impressed this was directed by Peter Farrelly of the Farrelly brothers who have produced some of the biggest pieces of crap in the history of filmdom. Nice work Pete.)
A
WSS


 

It was the only movie out of all of the ones nominated this year that I liked. It deserved best picture.

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13 minutes ago, stillmotion said:

It was the only movie out of all of the ones nominated this year that I liked. It deserved best picture.

I agree. And I'm pleased to see it beat the odds.

WSS

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9 hours ago, Westside Steve said:

I agree. And I'm pleased to see it beat the odds.

WSS

I went to an Oscar watching party with friends & their relatives last night and we always get issued Oscar guessing forms to fill out and be graded by the host. She said when I walked in the door, "Should I just put your name on the trophy now since that will be the 3rd year in a row for you?"  LOL!🤩

Well guess what!!    🏆🏆🏆

And the tiebreaker for me and the second place guy was me picking Green Book and him going with Roma for the last Oscar of the night. Tough choice because I also liked Bohemian Rhapsody a lot.🤗

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