REVIEW: Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen Green Book deliver award-worthy, emotive performances in Green Book

PUBLISHED: 13:32 04 February 2019

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.

Archant

Based on a true story, ‘Green Book’ is an emotive, heart-warming tale of an unlikely friendship that, gradually, becomes a delight to watch thanks to two award-worthy lead performances.

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.

Set in 1960s New York, Italian American Tony Vallelonga (played by Viggo Mortensen, ‘Eastern Promises’) is working as a club bouncer in the Bronx but soon finds himself needing a new temporary job, leading him to become a driver for African-American classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali, delivering a performance as good as his role in ‘Moonlight’), who is about to embark on an eight-week tour in the Deep South.

Putting his preconceptions aside, Tony takes the job, accompanying Don at ritzy shows and, at several times, protecting him from individuals who are out for a fight.

It can be a painful watch at times but it gets the message across clearly; the way the film portrays everyday racism that so many were subjected to often leaves a lump in the audience’s throat - especially when things turn physical at a backstreet Kentucky bar.

Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) and academy award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) star in Green Book. Picture: LIGHT CINEMA.

Moreover, it’s about a gradual changing of attitudes as Tony starts to stick up for Don; and they wind up in county jail when a racist police officer oversteps the mark and gets what he deserves.

At the heart of the movie, though, is the pair’s unlikely friendship - they might come from two entirely different worlds but their award-worthy performances combine to create something that’s compelling and genuinely moving.

For screening dates, times and tickets visit https://wisbech.lightcinemas.co.uk/green-book


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