In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
In 1962, Tony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga, a tough bouncer, is looking for work when his nightclub is closed for renovations. The most promising offer turns out to be the driver for the African-American classical pianist Don Shirley for a concert tour into the Deep South states. Although hardly enthused at working for a black man, Tony accepts the job and they begin their trek armed with The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for safe travel through America's racial segregation. Together, the snobbishly erudite pianist and the crudely practical bouncer can barely get along with their clashing attitudes to life and ideals. However, as the disparate pair witness and endure America's appalling injustices on the road, they find a newfound respect for each other's talents and start to face them together. In doing so, they would nurture a friendship and understanding that would change both their lives.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Costume designer Betsy Heimann fitted Viggo Mortensen's clothing quite tightly; implying Tony bought his suits many years and folded pizzas earlier, and his finances were too constrained to buy new ones. She also explained that the fashion at the time was for trousers to be worn up around the waist, not below the belly. She noticed that Viggo incorporated this into his performance, as Tony regularly pulls his pants up when he walks around, and thought, "He's doing that for me!" See more »
When they were stopped in the snowstorm, the back window was clean in the long shots, but full of snow when shown from inside the car. See more »
Dr. Don Shirley:
Yes, I live in a castle, Tony! Alone. And rich white people pay me to play piano for them because it makes them feel cultured. But as soon as I step off that stage, I go right back to being just another nigger to them. Because that is their true culture. And I suffer that slight alone, because I'm not accepted by my own people 'cause I'm not like them, either. So, if I'm not black enough and if I'm not white enough and if I'm not man enough, then tell me, Tony, what am I?
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Real-life photos of Dr. Donald Shirley and Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga, and a few insights into their life after the events in the movie, are shown before the credits roll. See more »
I saw this at the premier at TIFF and was thrilled to learn the story is about a real friendship. This is not a typical road movie, or buddy film. Given the lead actors, I knew it would be something special, and it is.
Entertaining, funny in parts, hard to accept in others - as a white american who wasn't around in the 1960's, the racism was mind boggling and I couldn't help but feel shame.
Green Book has so many layers - family, culture, honesty, dignity, genius, respect, acceptance, stereotypes, racism, music, class, friendship, and fried chicken.
Whatever your views, race, or age - this film is not 'preachy', but you should appreciate an honest portrayal of a difficult time & place in history.
I'll use the term an "unlikely friendship", but knowing the two men were real makes it fantastic. I'm so grateful to have learned about them and their lives.
I only wish there had been a Q&A afterward.
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