I will start by saying that of the four films we saw during my annual birthday ritual, I declared at the time that this was the best of the bunch. So despite the hype and fuss around Bohemian Rhapsody and Rami Malek’s impersonation of Freddie Mercury (which will be in my sights in later posts !), it was no surprise when Green Book took the Oscar for Best Movie.
When you look at the synopsis - gifted black musician takes white hoodlum as minder for tour of racist American South in the 50’s - it is very tempting to assume a very simple narrative is coming. Initial frostiness, growing respect, ultimate bonding, white guy physically defends black guy, etc. All very predictable. And whilst most of the boxes are indeed ticked in that template, this movie has SO much more than that, to the extent that it could be used as a primer in schools to discuss what exactly is the nature of racism, or even what constitutes ethnicity ?
And while Mahershala Ali scooped up most of the awards, Viggo Mortensen’s performance is also very strong (although I believe that his role should have been the supporting one, since the character of Don Shirley portrayed by Ali is, in my mind, no doubt the most important in the movie). And in our house we also love Linda Cardellini, who was excellent in this and in the recent Netflix series ‘Dead To Me’ which we binge-watched in two nights. Recommended too !
So join us for a thought-provoking exploration of the nature of race and prejudice on Saturday, and don’t forget your bucket of chicken wings !