In the 1960s Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) is a bouncer in a New York nightclub. When this is closed due to renovation, he applies for a job Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) has to offer. As it turns out, Shirley is not a “normal” doctor but a highly acclaimed black pianists who looks for a driver for his upcoming tour into America’s deep south. Tony takes this job, trying everything to stick to the schedule and reaching every town just in time to settle the stage and prepare for the next concert. The deeper they get into the southern states, where segregation is still in place, Tony realises that Don is only welcome and cheered at when he is the pianist on the stage but not as a black man. Don on the other hand learns that Tony is a man he can rely on.
“It takes courage to change people’s hearts.”
“Green Book” which title refers to the “Negro Motorist Green Book“, an annual guide book for afro-american roadtrippers, tells a story that isn’t totally new to both the big and the small screen. But the way the story between two different men who become unlikely friends is told here, is funny and sad and shocking and it has a warmth that draws you easily into its 130 minutes – with no boring moments.
Mahershala Ali took a Bafta, a Golden Globe and an Oscar as best supporting actor, while Viggo Mortensen was nominated as leading actor.
“Green Book” won the Oscar for best picture.
[Updated after the Oscars ceremony