A film by Peter Farrelly
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellin
1960’s An italian American bouncer who had two month to kill because of renovation at the club he was working at, ends up driving for a black musician on a tour in the deep American south.
Here are two men quite different one black one white comes from different background get thrown together under unusual circumstances. Here is a mismatched buddy road trip with a message about race relations. And it is based on a true story. Green book it is a bit an old fashioned film making which is kind of nice for a change. It is a joy to see two actors like Mortensen and Ali their chemistry is so perfect and their performance is so outstanding. The film feels has similarities with Driving Miss Daisy.
Mortensen here has to gain 20 pounds which he said was fun to do but not fun to loose he said in an interview. Tony is from the bronx Italian descent and his vocabulaire is limited. (Tony’s son, Nick, co-wrote the script with Farrelly and Brian Hayes Currie.) Tony is the kind of guy with big appetites and loyal to his wife ( Linda Cardellini) and two young sons. He is happy to be living in the Bronx. However Don Shirley is an educated man well mannered with expensive taste and a genius musician.
Tony who finds himself out of the job due to the renovation of the club he is working at needs to provide for his family. So he accepts a job from the record company to be the driver of this musician. Yes there are the clichés thrown in there of what Tony thinks about the black people, plus the lesson learn with fast food and such. Too funny at times. The adventure will takes us across the country with the ups and downs. The green book back then was a guide used by black motorists to help them avoid the dangers and indignities of road travel, especially below the Mason-Dixon line. Well as we know from history the south was segregated. Tony was the bodyguard as well as a chauffeur. Don is a well known musician but is denied to dine with white people. It is a bit crude and offensive at times but back then that’s the way it was. Some Americans white and black the older folks were talking about it to me as I was listening to their stories was a bit shock that was going on in America. It is an intelligent screenplay where the two character are going to learn from each other. A nice film done the old fashion way that have funny moments and not so funny moments but played very well by two great actors. Do not miss this one.