So I just got back from seeing another best picture nominee, that being Green Book…
Green Book tells the true story of Donald Shirley, a classical and jazz pianist who embarks on a tour of the deep south. In order to help him, he hires a man named Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, a former bouncer who was desperate for work. During this tour, Tony and Don bond and learn more about each other, challenging each other, and becoming better men and best friends.
Cute little character piece. I had lots of fun with it.
Good script, great characters and performances (Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali were absolutely on fire as Tony Lip and Don Shirley), great soundtrack, hilarious at the right moments, etc.
Viggo and Mahershala’s chemistry was what really stole the show here. These guys really embodied who they were playing, and they played off each other so well. They made you care about the relationship between Shirley and Lip.
Sadly though, that’s the only thing that really sells the movie. The film was rather predictable, bland, and blunt in terms of its presentation and discussion of themes. I could sense where the character beats were going from a mile away and I didn’t need these themes spelled out for me like the movie thought it needed to do.
Overall, this isn’t a half bad movie. The performances manage to keep you around, even if the technical and philosophical aspects don’t grip you. It’s a good time, and worth a watch.
7.5 out of 10 (8 is pushing it, 7 is too harsh)