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
What if you are a gifted author whose stories are beloved by their readers? You can make a living out of it – but only if you are a man. That’s the problem Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) faces after she has moved with her husband Henry Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West) from rural France to Paris. Here they live a bohemian life at the dawn of the 20th century. While her husband tries to write articles for various magazines with the help of ghost writers, he discovers Colette’s talent and convinces her to write novels. The first one is published under his name – Willy – and becomes a huge success with an audience demanding for more. Henry, keen to earn more money by selling more “Claudine” novels, forces Colette to continue writing under his name while they both enjoy a celebrity’s couple’s life including parties and different sexual relationships.
“My name is Claudine, I live in Montigny; I was born there in 1884; I shall probably not die there.”
But as time goes by, a frustrated Colette doesn’t want to hide her authorship anymore, she wants to be more than only her husband’s wife – questioning the norms of society.
“Colette” is a beautifully made film where every single detail of the set is chosen very carefully. Keira Knightley fits perfectly in this set and in the corsets, skirts and dresses while being witty, funny, angry and all in all a joy to watch. In 2014 she was Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Alan Turing‘s fiancée and life long friend Joan Clarke in “The Imitation Game” which earned her (and Benedict) an Oscar nomination. In this film Keira is on top of her performance abilities, portraying Colette from a shy girl to a strong woman ready to walk her way in a society dominated by men. One of the shiny 2019 Oscars could carry Keira’s name.