By Mary Cox
This is, so far, my favorite movie of the year and I consider it the best movie of the year. “Green Book” is an important film based on a true story.
I did not know what a green book was even though I lived in the south for five years in the early seventies. A green book is a booklet that let African-Americans where they could eat and stay when they were in the southern states because until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. African-Americans could not eat in “white” restaurants, be treated at “white” hospitals, stay in “white” hotels, use “white” restrooms, or drink at “white” water fountains just to name a few injustices in a segregated community. If you were not familiar with where you could eat or drink or stay, an African-American could get in serious trouble quickly in the south.
An Italian waiter/bouncer, Tony the Lip, (Viggo Mortensen), at the Copacabana in New York takes a job as a driver for two months while the club is closed for renovations in 1962. His passenger, (Mahershala Ali) is Dr. Shurly. Shurly is a classically trained musician; he is has several doctorate degrees and lives in an apartment above Carnegie Hall. Shurly has to tour the south to promote his record album. As the road trip progresses, the two men run into difficult problems and circumstances that test both men.
Writers Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly have crafted a brilliant script with heart-felt moments. When Tony struggles to write letters home to his wife Delores, (Linda Cardelin), Dr. Shurly dictates beautiful love letters that Delores reads to her envious sisters-in-law.
Director Peter Farrelly is able to bring out award winning performances from all three of his lead actors. The acting is brilliant and may bring Golden Globe and Oscar nods for Mortensen.
I loved seeing all the old cars. The cars in the sixties were all unique and different from each other. Tony is driving a gorgeous new Cadillac that made me drool. The costumes were fun to see. You forget how different clothes are now until you see them on the screen.
“Green Book” gives us a realistic glimpse how it really was in the south before the Civil Rights act of 1964 and how dangerous heinous racial bigotry can be. “Green Book,” “The Help” and “Hidden Figures” are a must-see trio of films that we must use to educate adults and children on what African-Americans have had to overcome in our society.
Do not miss this movie. It will become a classic. It is playing at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.