Maharshala Ali, Viggo Mortensen, Linda Cardellini
Having just premiered at Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews, Green Book is an uplifting true story of an odd-defying friendship that demands to be told on the big screen. With strong performances from Mahershala Ali (following his Oscar-winning turn in Moonlight) and Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence), Green Book succeeds in making its crucial subject of racial division in the 1960s America into a smart, affecting and also charming film that is bound to speak to broad audiences in the UK.
Set in 1962, the film follows Italian-American Tony Lip (Mortensen), who is hired to chauffeur African-American pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Ali) on a concert tour through the Deep South. Don is ware of the troubles that he might face in different locations due to the colour of his skin and requires someone to act as both staff and protector. Tony isn’t an obvious choice as his views on race are problematic to say the least but he carries the required muscle and the unlikely pair embark on a road trip that’s bound to change both of their lives.
Best known for his crowd-pleasing comedies Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary , director Peter Farrelly delivers a heartwarming surprise with Green Book and shines while directing both the funnier moments and dramatic beats. Whilst entertaining and easy-to-watch, the film doesn’t sugarcoat the tensions of the time and serves as a significant reminder of the challenges that everyday racism can still bring upon us.