Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Green Book - Review


Green Book, the Surprise Film of the London Film Festival and Cineworld's Secret Screening, is a genuine surprise... in just how charming it is.
On paper, the story of an Italian heavy who drives a rich, educated black pianist through the Deep South on a concert tour sounds like Driving Miss Daisy in reverse. A film that could be incredibly cloying, schmaltzy and patronising.
However the end result is an incredibly funny and charming film. Just as the story sees two people with preconceived views of the world and people slowly broaden their minds, this film will change audiences' minds who go in expecting one thing but come out pleasantly surprised.
Based on a true story, the film may not break any new ground in terms of plot and structure. You can see exactly how the film will play out as if reading a road map of New York to Alabama. But that doesn't matter at all when the film delivers on heart, wit and charm.
All of that charm and good will is down to the excellent pairing of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali as Tony "Lip" Vallelonga and Dr. Don Shirley. The two spark of each other brilliantly and have some of the best on-screen chemistry of 2018 and make for one of the best odd couples of recent years.
Mortensen is certainly an actor more known for his intensity that comedic sparring ability but his brash, loudmouth bounces perfectly off Ali's uptight, reserved Shirley.
In the end, as the two attempt to make their way back to New York in time for Christmas, you realise that you have almost been watching a remake of Planes, Trains and Automobiles set during the civil rights movement.
Just as Shirley's performances impress audiences all over the States and Tony slowly works his charm on Shirley, audiences will find themselves utterly beguiled by Green Book which is destined to become one of 2019's breakout sleeper hits.

4 stars

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