Green Book (2018)
Critic Consensus: Green Book takes audiences on a surprisingly smooth ride through potentially bumpy subject matter, fueled by Peter Farrelly's deft touch and a pair of well-matched leads.
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as Tony Lip
as Dr. Don Shirley
as Jules Podell
as Johnny Venere
as Record Exec
as Bobby Rydell
as Graham Kindell
as Morgan Anderson
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Critic Reviews for Green Book
An enthusiastic and well-intentioned but ultimately clichéd approach is abundantly evident in the final product.
Green Book is a glib, caricatured and insensitive movie that reduces an enduring, dangerous societal problem to a calculated fable with a happy ending. [Full review in Japanese]
Is it a feel-good charmer poised to rake in greenbacks and Oscar gold? You bet! But don't let that keep you away from this overall well balanced (and timed) look forward from the safe distance of America's motley past.
The screenplay essentially turns Shirley into a black man who thematically shapeshifts into whoever will make the story appealing to white audiences - and that's inexcusable.
[A] flawed but oddly joyful movie elevated far above its limitations by two sublime performances.
A bizarre fish-out-of-water comedy masquerading as a serious awards-season contender by pretending to address the deep wound of racial inequality while demonstrating its profound inability, intellectually and dramatically, to do that.
Audience Reviews for Green Book
The feel-good movie of the year is this simplistic bromance that doesn't understand its own characters and couldn't ring less true even if it tried - no matter how committed the actors are, playing these walking caricatures so that a white audience can go home feeling tolerant.
Sadly, didn't end racism, but still very cute.
Green Book plays like a twenty-first century rendition of Driving Miss Daisy, a well-meaning and relatively gentle movie about race relations where a prejudiced white person comes about thanks to their firsthand friendship with an African-American male. It's reportedly inspired by the true story of Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a nightclub bouncer, driving around a famed pianist, Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), as he performed throughout the South in 1962. The best part of the movie is the character interaction between this odd couple, and you'll get plenty of it too. The actors burrow into their very distinctly conflicting characters, so it's a natural pleasure to watch them eventually bond and learn from one another. This is the kind of racism that doesn't make people feel too uncomfortable, and you could say that about the film as a whole. It's a bit safe and has its intentions set on being a big, inclusive crowd-pleaser, and it plays like one. There are moments to make you laugh, moments to make you cheer, and moments to make you tear up. Morstensen and Ali are terrific together and find dignity and humanity in characters that could have easily become one-note stereotypes. The more we learn about Dr. Shirley the more interesting he becomes, a man used to feeling like an outsider no matter the company he keeps. Watching the two men grow and open up to one another can be heartwarming and deeply satisfying. Remarkably, the film is directed and co-written by one half of the Farrelly brothers, the pair responsible for ribald comedies like There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber. It's an easy movie to fall for, with its winning formula and enjoyable actors, but there's a little nagging concern I have that Green Book is too safe, too straight, and too pat in its life lessons. Despite its Best Picture win, it's not like Driving Miss Daisy has any lasting cultural impression, and I wonder if maybe Green Book is destined for the same. Still, the acting and writing is enough to bring a smile to your face and remind one's self about the power of kindness. Nate's Grade: B
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