‘Green Book’ wins Academy Award for Best Picture (Review)

Green Book is director Peter Farrelly’s 2018 comic-drama about Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a Black classical pianist who hires Tony Villalonga (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian nightclub bouncer, to protect him on a concert tour through the American South in the 1960s.

The Green Book used to be a guide to hotels and restaurants across America that would accept people of color. It didn’t used to be so easy to travel in our country. Sometimes it still isn’t, but it’s better than it was.


Green Book The Movie

When a world-renowned African-American classical pianist decides to do a concert tour through the1960s American South, he knows he needs some protection. He asks around and several people recommend Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, an Italian-American bouncer at the Copacabana nightclub.

In the manner of the times, Vallelonga didn’t like colored people, but he takes the job because he needs the money while the Copa is closed for renovation. His one request is to try to make it home for Christmas. Being an Italian family, that is important.

You can see how each man is confused and amused by the other. Through their adventures on the road, each learns something about himself. Each in his own way takes risks to help and protect the other. In the end, their shared experience bonds the men into brothers.

This is such a heartwarming film with a happy holiday ending. I wish all Americans would watch it. When we live separate lives, it’s easy to be nervous and afraid of “the other.” Living and working together forces us find our common humanity. I think it’s why New Yorkers get along so well – we all live, work and love together.

This is based on a true story. The pianist, Dr. Don Shirley, was a classical music child prodigy who really lived in Carnegie Hall. Vallelonga is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.

Green Book is a Universal Pictures release.


Green Book Screenings

Green Book premiered on September 11, 2018 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It opened in New York City on November 16, 2018.


Green Book Awards

Oscar nominations

  1. Best Picture
  2. Lead Actor ~ Viggo Mortensen
  3. Supporting Actor ~ Mahershala Ali
  4. Original Screenplay ~ Nick Vallelonga (the real son), Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
  5. Film Editing ~ Patrick J. Don Vito

Golden Globes

  1. Best Picture Musical or Comedy
  2. Best Supporting Actor
  3. Best Screenplay


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