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Green Book (2018)

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A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

Director:

Peter Farrelly

Writers:

Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie (as Brian Currie) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
78 ( 1)

Mahershala Ali: From "4400" to 'Green Book'

Mahershala Ali is perhaps best known for his performances in "House of Cards" and Moonlight, and has been nominated for his second Oscar for Green Book. What other roles has he played?

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Top Rated Movies #127 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 50 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Tony Lip
Mahershala Ali ... Dr. Donald Shirley
Linda Cardellini ... Dolores
Sebastian Maniscalco ... Johnny Venere
Dimiter D. Marinov ... Oleg
Mike Hatton ... George
P.J. Byrne ... Record Exec
Joe Cortese ... Gio Loscudo
Maggie Nixon ... Copa Coat Check Girl
Von Lewis ... Bobby Rydell
Jon Sortland Jon Sortland ... Rydell Band Leader
Don Stark ... Jules Podell
Anthony Mangano ... Copa Bouncer Danny
Paul Sloan ... Copa Maître D' Carmine
Quinn Duffy ... Mikey Cerrone
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by a True Friendship


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content, language including racial epithets, smoking, some violence and suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Russian | German

Release Date:

16 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Green Book See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$320,429, 18 November 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$85,080,171, 2 May 2019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,526,091, 17 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)| Dolby Surround 7.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Viggo Mortensen revealed that Louis Venere, one of Nick Vallelonga's real-life relatives, caused continuity problems in the family dinner scenes. He kept eating the food after the director had yelled cut, saying, "what props? This is good fish, c'mon!" See more »

Goofs

In the scene with a wrong piano - not a Steinway - provided for the concert, the piano lid is opened the wrong way. The correct way would be to flip the front part first, and then to raise the lid on the stick. But maybe it was done deliberately to illustrate the stupidity of the stage hand. See more »

Quotes

Tony Lip: What's the big deal, Doc? Squirrels woulda ate it anyway!
Dr. Don Shirley: Pick it up, Tony.
Tony Lip: Nature takes care of the earth!
Dr. Don Shirley: Pick it up!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Larry the Crow" gets a mention. This was an actual crow that Viggo Mortensen found injured near the set, and tried in vain to nurse back to health. He was no doubt named for Viggo's favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence in Spanish). The team nickname is "The Crows". See more »


Soundtracks

Go To The Mardi Gras
Written by Henry 'Professor Longhair' Byrd (as Henry Roeland Byrd)
Performed by Henry 'Professor Longhair' Byrd (as Professor Longhair)
Courtesy of Rounder Records, A Division of Concord Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Critic-proof festival hit should be big holiday winner
22 September 2018 | by Art SnobSee all my reviews

Some of my movie friends were stunned when I mentioned in a thread that this was my "People's Choice Award" vote for TIFF 2018 (it won, btw). I generally go for weightier fare, so my being won over by a PG-13 road film with the familiar "they-couldn't-have-been-more-different" premise directed by the auteur co-responsible for such recent classics as "Dumb and Dumber To" and "The Three Stooges" elicited a virtual double-take.

But I couldn't help it ... it really WAS the best film I saw (out of 17), and far and away the most entertaining. I think this is largely because it's based on a real-life story about the beginning of a lifelong friendship - a story that has writing participation by the son of one of the real-life characters. There's definitely an air of authenticity to the events as they unfold that could never occur with a purely contrived plot. Consider: A college-educated concert pianist of Jamaican descent hires a temporarily-unemployed Italian-American nightclub bouncer who's streetwise but academically dim to drive him to venues in the Deep South back in 1962. That's not a setup that a Hollywood script written from scratch would ever have come up with.

The two lead actors really click. Mahershala Ali makes a nice Oscar follow-up playing the aloof pianist passenger to Viggo Mortensen's "b.s. artist" driver. Ali is certain to get another nomination; Mortensen's performance may be a little too broad to garner one, but he delivers exactly what's called for. And he makes a believable Italian-American, which is impressive considering that he's Danish.

I'm allergic to preaching and heavy-handedness in movies no matter what the message, and with the exception of one borderline scene, I'd say that the movie nicely sidesteps these proclivities that surface so often in socially-conscious films.

The music and FX are excellent. When an actor plays a piano player, there's always the challenge of making the playing look believable. It doesn't get any better than it gets here - Ali's piano playing is every bit as convincing as Margot Robbie's ice skating in I, TONYA. You never see a disconnect between hands and body as he's filmed against a variety of backgrounds. And if I could bet on an Oscar win right now, it would be Kris Bowers for Best Original Score. (He also supplies Ali's hands, which should clinch it.)

Top everything off with a Capra-esque Christmas Eve finale and a closing line that sends everyone home smiling, and it all adds up to a monster hit. Its commercial payoff could be huge - the movie practically begs for a TV series spinoff, and the real-life characters remained friends until they both died in 2013.

So congratulations to Peter Farrelly on his graduation from co-directing lowbrow fare to solo-directing middlebrow (i.e. mass-appeal) fare. You can't deny the talent and craftsmanship it takes to make a mainstream movie that works as well as this one does.


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