On the road again

Green book

Film. Green Book, 2019 Golden Globe winner, takes us on the road with a african-american pianist and his italian-american driver. A mix between road-trip, an activist movie, a comedy and a biopic…Explanations.

By Quentin Moyon

Peter Farelly known for comedies like Dumb and Dumber or There is Something About Mary, directed with his brother Bobby, moves away with Green Book. He shows two opposites worlds : the one of Tony Lip, handyman, interpreted by the brillant Viggo Mortensen, in a De Niro style, and the one of Don Shirley, a famous afro-american pianist  played by Mahershala Ali (Oscar Winner for his leading role in Moolight 2017). The first becomes the driver of the other during his tour in the South of America where the racial segragation is still implamented. The codes are reversed in this clash between two worlds which is played on several scales : between the white prolo and the black artist, that his audience, white too, acclaims on stage and hate while the curtain has fallen. Green Book is a bit like the natural child of Bird and Driving Miss Daisy.

Drama or feel good movie flirting with the Christmas movie ? The director never really chooses and the transition from one to the other is not always well enough to sound right.

Green Book is a bit like the natural child of Bird and Driving Miss Daisy.

A heavy movie

This is undoubtedly his greatest weakness : the movie knock on many doors without ever inviting us to enter … Twirling between biopic (very far, according to his family, the true story of Don Shirley), road trip, drama and comedy, Green Book multiplies membership and gives a rather superficial treatment of strong themes. Too bad. It is nevertheless necessary to salute the amazing performances of the two main actors and the explosive soundtrack which rhythms our difficult meeting with them. They earned the film the Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali again). Demonstrating that foreign reporters in Hollywood, who vote for the Globes, do not share our reservations.