McCann At The Movies: ‘Green Book’ Has Charm And Excellent Performance

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John McCann says ‘Green Book’ is a charming, sentimental tale that’ll give you a warm glow as you leave the Omniplex…

Those familiar with the works of Peter Farrelly will know of his genius in the field of cinematic comedy.

The likes of ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘There’s Something About Mary’ are still celebrated and viewed as the last period of film with any consistent (and more importantly – funny!) comedic elements.

This week’s movie review sees Farrelly, not unlike last week’s director Adam McKay, change genre with ‘Green Book’, a heartfelt true story which has been lauded by critics and is currently featuring heavily in award nominations.

Green Book tells the true story of Tony Lip (played by Viggo Mortensen),  a bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx, who is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a world-class black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South.

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Confronted with racism, constant danger, as well as unexpected humanity and humour, they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of negativity surrounding this movie, with the accuracy of events questioned, the over-sentimentality attached and also the implausible and insensitive manner in which the subject matter is handled throughout.

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in ‘Green Book’.

‘Green Book’ is also, however, a charming road trip movie with two outstanding lead performances with more than a throwback to the great travel tales of the 80’s such as ‘Rain Man’, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ evident.

A feel-good bromance of epic proportions, this Oscar-nominated film is touching, charming and at times very funny and a movie that will warm the hearts of all that take their seats at their local cinema to enjoy it!

Oscar nominations for both leads are well deserved and despite the measured and subtle performance of the talented Mahershala Ali, it is Viggo Mortensen that steals the show as the loud-mouthed Tony Lip in a role that seems like he was born to play.

The chemistry between the two actors is a chief reason why this film soars higher than it potentially should and Farrelly’s humane and comic touch will ensure that every cinemagoer will walk out of Tralee Omniplex at the end of Green Book with a silly smile and a warm glow and despite all the negativity surrounding the film – isn’t that what anyone wants from a trip to the movies?

4/5

• For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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