This film was the winner of the Best Movie at the Academy Awards (although there was some controversy) and Mahershala Ali who played an African-American classical pianist won the award for Best Supporting Actor. We agreed that it was a great film, and Ali’s performance was worthy of the award.
The film is based on a true story. Tony Lip, a working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver for Dr Donald Shirley, the classical pianist, on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South. The title of the film comes from the Green Book that listed accommodation available for African-Americans. The film was full of contrasts – Tony a racist Italian bouncer: Dr Shirley an African American; Tony with a close Italian family: Dr Shirley a lonely man; treatment of African-Americans in the north of the USA: treatment in the south. It follows how both the men grow and appreciate the other’s strengths. While there were some disturbing scenes as the men face the problems of an African-American in the south of the country, the film had a happy ending with the men becoming close friends until their death, both dying in 2013 within a few months of one another.
Reviews have compared the film with “Driving Miss Daisy” (friendship between an African-American driver with an upper-class employer), but we thought it was closer to “The Help” (showing the difficulties experienced by African-Americans). A very enjoyable movie that we rated as around 3-4 out of 5.
It was decided to select two films for our April class – “Captain Marvel” and “A Dog’s Way Home”. Everyone is invited to watch at least one of these movies for our April class on 10 April.
Possible discussion points could be around the use of the computer graphics in “Captain Marvel” or comparisons of “A Dog’s Way Home” with the lost animal films we have seen in the past.