"Marred by Crude Content"
What You Need To Know:
GREEN BOOK is very well made. It has many touching moments as well as many funny lines. The dialogue is particularly good and extremely believable. GREEN BOOK has a powerful message of loving each person no matter his skin color or background. Dr. Shirley and Tony must learn from each other and see their point of view. However, these positive themes are marred by lots of gratuitous foul language and an explicit scene implying Dr. Shirley had a homosexual rendezvous with another man. MOVIEGUIDE® therefore advises extreme caution for GREEN BOOK.
Based on a true story, GREEN BOOK is set in 1962, in a story about an Italian nightclub bouncer drives an acclaimed African American concert pianist through the Deep South. GREEN BOOK has a powerful message of loving each person no matter their color or background, but it’s marred by lots of gratuitous foul language and a homosexual scene that adds nothing to the story.
Tony is the lead bouncer at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City. He often throws people out of the club and hits them repeatedly because they have started something within the club. Each morning he returns to his family just as they are waking up.
One day when he wakes up, he sees two African Americans repairing something in his apartment, with his wife giving them some lemonade. Immediately Tony throws away their glasses.
Later that day, Tony is called in for a job interview, which turns out to be with a very wealthy African American named Don Shirley, who everyone calls Dr. Shirley. At first, Dr. Shirley rejects Tony for the job, but then decides to hire him to drive him through the Deep South.
Tony and Dr. Shirley are at odds at first, from two different worlds, as Tony is a lower class new Yorker, while Dr Shirley is extremely wealthy and well educated. The two have to learn how to get along and learn from each other. Along the way, Dr Shirley teaches Tony about grace, poise and rhetoric, while Tony embraces Dr Shirley like family. Driving through the deep south, Dr. Shirley is put in compromising situations, and Tony has to defend him. Will Dr Shirley make it to every concert he needs to get to?
The GREEN BOOK is very well made. It has many touching moments as well as many funny lines. The dialogue is particularly good and extremely believable. Most of the time the movie does a great job telling the audience different things about the characters, without actually telling the audiences, but rather showing them. Viggo Mortensen delivers an incredible performance, taking on the dialect, movements and look of an Italian from New York. Mahershala Ali does a good job playing Don Shirley, but his character doesn’t show as much development. The winning performance here really belongs to Mortensen.
The GREEN BOOK has some wonderful messages about loving everyone no matter what race or background. Each character has to learn to from the other and see their point of view. One character has to learn to become more open to other people.
These are all redemptive, biblical themes, but the movie is marred by lots of foul language. Also, near the end, Dr. Shirley is seen wrapped in a towel with another man, implying they had just engaged in homosexual relations. This completely unnecessary scene takes viewers out of the movie and adds another level to the story that was completely not needed. What the LGBTQ community has gone through over the years is nothing like the harsh treatment and brutality that African Americans went through in America during segregation. Modern day movements to put a correlation on the two things is belittling to what African Americans endured.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for GREEN BOOK.