21.5 C
Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Cinema Review: Green Book

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 10 March, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 10 March, 2021

Other News

A Lego load of fun on the Gold Coast

A place for water dragons to thrive was the theme of a construction competition at Southern Cross University (SCU) yesterday. The tricky part was making the build with Lego.

Taxpayers paying through the nose for the destruction of Casino to Murwillumbah train line

Louise Doran, Ocean Shores  On 14 January, 2015 The Echo comment ‘Railroaded’ quoted Don Page’s (Nationals then MP for Ballina) 2004...

Democracy

Jo Faith, Newtown Thank you all at The Echo for upholding independent journalism. For readers and activists concerned about the demise...

Supporting independent news or making fat cats fatter?

The recent skirmish between Facebook and the government is hard to miss, even if you rely on Facebook for your news. But what does it all mean?

Thirteen students inducted into Tweed Youth Council

The Youth Council program hopes develop better relations between Council and Tweed’s young people, by encouraging a mutual respect, and providing opportunities to contribute to civic life in a constructive and meaningful manner.

Sowing the seed for a connected, local food chain

Lisa Machin If you’ve ever been to the New Brighton or Mullum Farmers Markets you’d be forgiven if you thought...

by  Charles Boyle

Set in the US in 1962, Green Book is the true story of black piano virtuoso Dr Don Shirley, who hires tough New York Italian nightclub bouncer Tony Lip (aka Vallelonga) to drive and protect him on a concert tour of the southern states. It’s a deceptively simple premise, the titular Green Book being a guidebook for black travellers to find motels and restaurants that would serve them in the racially divided Deep South. Subtle, provocative, and deeply insightful, this is a thoughtful movie for grown-ups. Part Odd Couple, part road movie, this is one of the finest pictures to come out of the US in recent years.

Essentially a two-hander with outstanding performances from Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip and Mahershala Ali as pianist Dr Don Shirley, the picture is also blessed with an excellent supporting cast: the delightful Linda Cardellini (The Founder, Scooby Doo) as Tony’s wife Delores, Dimiter Marinov (who really does play the cello), and Sebastian Maniscalo et al magnify the nuances of a powerfully understated screenplay into a mesmerising exploration of race and identity.

The screenplay was co-written by the real Tony Lip’s son Nick Vallelonga – who also appears in the film, as do several other members of the Vallelonga clan. Meticulous direction by veteran Peter Farrely (Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary) brings masterful understatement to the narrative while production legends George Lucas (Dreamworks) and Steven Spielberg (Amblin Partners), lend serious cred to its pedigree.

The other great element to this film is music – from Chopin to early sixties Motown to delta blues, the soundtrack is brilliant. While there are always problems with technical expertise when an actor plays a great musician, the application of invisible computer graphics allows the virtuoso hands of musical director Kris Bowers’s stand-in to effortlessly play the piano for Mahershala Ali.

Green Book cost $23 million and has already pulled $109 million at the global box office and has won a Best Picture award at the Golden Globes and has been nominated for five Oscars.

Green Book will stay with you for days, and warrants a second viewing. It reminds us that great American artists still exist and US culture is not entirely morally corrupt. Short on schmalz, gratuitous sex and violence, but big on excellent performance and subtle humour, there is nothing not to like about this feelgood movie, and plenty to write home about. Go see it.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Agree with this great, positive review. Viggo Mortensen at his best! So many levels of interest to enjoy and ponder. See it twice to catch all the subtleties and great soundtrack. A visual delight as well.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Interview with Mell Coppin and Zara Noruzi, from Byron Comedy Festival

Byron Bay Comedy Festival: Bringing in the Laughs. Last year wiped out our entire entertainment program, but while things aren’t completely back to normal, it’s looking up. The easing of COVID-19 Public Health restrictions means that smaller events are back!

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Aged Care Fail

Our aged care system is broken. We didn’t need a Royal Commission to tell us that many of our old people have been abused by the system that is supposed to care for them. But now we have hard evidence that we are failing our elders. Some of the data that has been released is shocking. One in five residents have experienced sexual or physical abuse.

Sowing the seed for a connected, local food chain

Lisa Machin If you’ve ever been to the New Brighton or Mullum Farmers Markets you’d be forgiven if you thought you were seeing double. Over the...

The moveable feast

David Lowe There’s never been a better time to revisit the classic picnic and its many variants. With many venues moving to focus on outdoor dining...