In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
In 1962, Tony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga, a tough bouncer, is looking for work when his nightclub is closed for renovations. The most promising offer turns out to be the driver for the African-American classical pianist Don Shirley for a concert tour into the Deep South states. Although hardly enthused at working for a black man, Tony accepts the job and they begin their trek armed with The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for safe travel through America's racial segregation. Together, the snobbishly erudite pianist and the crudely practical bouncer can barely get along with their clashing attitudes to life and ideals. However, as the disparate pair witness and endure America's appalling injustices on the road, they find a newfound respect for each other's talents and start to face them together. In doing so, they would nurture a friendship and understanding that would change both their lives.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mahershala Ali responded with an apology to Shirley's nephew, Edwin Shirley III, saying that "I did the best I could with the material I had" and that he was not aware that there were "close relatives with whom I could have consulted to add some nuance to the character." Writer-director Peter Farrelly said he was under the impression there "weren't a lot of family members" still alive, that they did not take major liberties with the story, and that relatives he was aware of had been invited to a private screening for friends and family. Jazz artist Quincy Jones said to a crowd after a screening: "I had the pleasure of being acquainted with Don Shirley while I was working as an arranger in New York in the '50s, and he was without question one of America's greatest pianists ... as skilled a musician as Leonard Bernstein or Van Cliburn ... So it is wonderful that his story is finally being told and celebrated. Mahershala, you did an absolutely fantastic job playing him, and I think yours and Viggo's performances will go down as one of the great friendships captured on film." On January 14, 2019, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar published a piece in The Hollywood Reporter defending Green Book despite its alleged historical inaccuracies. Abdul-Jabbar argued that "(w)hile such discrepancies (about the historicity of some of the depicted events) may irk family members, they don't really matter because those plot details are about getting to a greater truth than whatever the mundane facts are." See more »
At the beginning of the movie, the font used on the Copacabana entrance canopy (a variant of Futura) and the font on the poster announcing that the club would be closed for two months (Arial) did not exist in 1962, and would not exist for at least twenty years thereafter. See more »
Dr. Don Shirley:
[to Tony, dictating a letter for him to send to Dolores]
Falling in love with you was the easiest thing I've ever done.
See more »
"Larry the Crow" gets a mention. This was an actual crow that Viggo Mortensen found injured near the set, and tried in vain to nurse back to health. He was no doubt named for Viggo's favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence in Spanish). The team nickname is "The Crows". See more »
I saw this at the premier at TIFF and was thrilled to learn the story is about a real friendship. This is not a typical road movie, or buddy film. Given the lead actors, I knew it would be something special, and it is.
Entertaining, funny in parts, hard to accept in others - as a white american who wasn't around in the 1960's, the racism was mind boggling and I couldn't help but feel shame.
Green Book has so many layers - family, culture, honesty, dignity, genius, respect, acceptance, stereotypes, racism, music, class, friendship, and fried chicken.
Whatever your views, race, or age - this film is not 'preachy', but you should appreciate an honest portrayal of a difficult time & place in history.
I'll use the term an "unlikely friendship", but knowing the two men were real makes it fantastic. I'm so grateful to have learned about them and their lives.
I only wish there had been a Q&A afterward.
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