Green Book reviews

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Re: Green Book reviews

Postby Sabin » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:51 pm

I love road movies. The best ones (hell, even the good ones) hone in on their protagonist's flaws, shine a light on them, and get them to change. So, here's my question about Green Book: what is Tony's flaw and what is Doc Shirley's flaw? What do they both need to overcome? It seems that it's Tony's racism, but why is that a problem for him outside the fact that all racism is bad? For Doc Shirley, it would seem to be his loneliness, his lack of belonging, not existing one place or the other. But how is that tackled? Notionally, Green Book is the story of Dr. Don Shirley's performance tour through the south to confront racism by simply existing there with dignity, but the film isn't interested in confronting what that means for him really. We're supposed to take our lessons from what is unsaid in Mahershala Ali's performance and in the quiet moments we have with this character. But that's a lot of heavy-lifting required for what I honestly think it's clear in the movie to begin with. There's too much contrivance in this Hollywood film to give it a "it's just a story of people"-pass. For me, this is a story the filmmakers wanted to protect, not dramatize. And that's a shame because there's a lot to like about it. The best thing about Green Book is that Peter Farrelly knows how to direct a road comedy. He knows how to keep the story moving along, get the laughs, hit the beats. The film's final line tells you all you need to know about how seriously they're really taking this subject matter. It never wants to get messy. It only wants to be nice.

I'm fine with movies like Green Book existing. I just don't want them anywhere near Oscar night.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Green Book reviews

Postby Reza » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:55 am

Big Magilla wrote:Olivia Colman being campaigned for lead and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in support for The Favourite is a rare exception.

Oh is this how the studios are going with their campaign? If so, then the studio just lost their chance to win an Oscar for this film. Colman has no chance of winning in the lead category but will most certainly win if she is nominated in the supporting category.

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Re: Green Book reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:17 am

When I first saw this being pushed as a potential Oscar winner for Best Picture I laughed out loud. It seemed like we were back in 1992 with My Cousin Vinny taking not just supporting actress but winning Best Picture over Unforgiven, Howards End, The Player and The Crying Game - impossible then, but not so much so now as none of the major releases seems to be taking anyone by storm.

In a perfect world Mortensen and Ali would both be campaigned for lead but the way it generally works when they split the campaigning between two players of more or less equal screen time, the bigger name gets pushed for lead and the lesser name for support. That's the way it worked with Davis and Spencer. That's the way it worked with Travolta and Jackson. Olivia Colman being campaigned for lead and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in support for The Favourite is a rare exception.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Green Book reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:49 am

I feel like everyone here knows exactly how they're going to respond to this movie. Probably however you feel about The Help is how you're going to feel about this -- for me, that's finding moments of genuine sincerity alongside some very broad ones, in a crowd-pleasing enough but very obvious and predictable piece. (Though I don't think any element of Green Book is as strong as Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer's performances in The Help.)

The screenwriting here is pretty 101 -- you can easily determine both central characters' arcs from the premise alone, much less the early scenes, and it's all very neat and tidy storytelling from beginning to end. There's also a lot of pretty typical civil rights story beats -- I'm at the point where I just don't think I can cluck my tongue at any more movie scenes of a black person being denied the right to use a white bathroom. But the film also gets by on the good humor of its odd couple scenario, the areas of the story that feel a little bit fresher (especially the class/cultural inversion of status of the main characters vis a vis race), and the honest portrait of a black man who feels like he does not fit in either the black or white worlds (which gets complicated in the film's most surprising plot point).

All of this is to say, I found the movie pleasant enough in a harmless way -- it wasn't down there with The Blind Side -- but clearly not the kind of vehicle I'd want to see touted for major prizes.

Both Mortensen and Ali have pretty attention-grabbing roles, and I'd say most folks will be surprised by how different both actors seem to carry themselves than in the roles we've seen them in before. The charm of their interplay -- basically a reverse Driving Miss Daisy -- also really helps buoy the movie along (though Mortensen definitely has moments that are on the broad side).

Can we enlist woke film Twitter to join forces with the category fraud police to carp about Ali's supporting campaign? Certainly anyone who griped about Jackson/Pulp Fiction in the supporting category should be outraged over the argument that the black man in a film that's almost entirely a two-hander is being positioned in support, beneath his white co-star.

Mister Tee, there are A LOT of photos at the top of the end credits you're going to love!

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Green Book reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:19 pm

Reports are that crowds at Toronto LOVE this. It has the feel of a movie that'll make some of us cringe, but Oscar voters might fall for. ... 202937442/ ... ce=twitter

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