An In Depth Look At Green Book


Universal Pictures

Green Book is a friendship, Driving Miss Daisy-esk movie. Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Arianna Cau, News Editor

On November 21st, 2018 the movie Green Book came out, and shortly after it won the Oscar of Best Picture.

Green Book, is about the friendship of a white man and a black man in the 1962, during the civil rights movement. The movie follows Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian American who worked for the Copacabana as a bouncer, who, after the club shuts down for renovations, becomes a driver for Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a rich, black man who is going on a music tour with his band. They take the tour down to the very segregated South, where racism is at its peak. They slowly become friends and learn about each other’s lives.

The movie was based on a true story, so naturally, the people are too. Tony Lip became an actor after the events of the movie, and worked on a few mafia movies and series, such as Goodfellas, The Godfather, and The Sopranos. Dr. Don Shirley continued his career in music and as a composer for classical and jazz music. They continued to be friends for the majority of their lives. Sadly, they both died in 2013, Don Shirley was 86 and Tony Lip was 82.  Fun Fact: Tony’s son, Nick Vallelonga, co-wrote the movie, and his other son, Frank Vallelonga, was casted as his uncle.
The actual Tony Lip and Don Shirley, having some fun. Courtesy of

1962 was not a good time to be African-American, especially in the South. For one, people of color were protesting more and participating in sit-ins, but this also led to punishment on their part, such as expulsion or being arrested. Segregationists were also protesting, such as the Ole Miss Riot of 1962, which was against 1 person. This relates to the movie because Don Shirley goes through this racism, and this is happening in the time that Green Book is set in.

Ratings on this movie are mixed, some say it’s great, others think that it is whitewashed. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a 79% fresh rating. Contrasting to that, Matt Jacobs from Huffington Post says, “Or is it just another distorted, if well-meaning, “white savior” narrative from Hollywood?” This puts the movie with the description of a decent, whitewashed, friendship movie, according to the Internet.

7th Grader Sicily James gives her opinion on the movie,“It was a good movie. I guess I liked that they got along  and they come from different places, the white guy was poor and the black guy was rich, it inspires people that anyone can do anything.”

What I didn’t like about the movie was that it left a few things out. First off, Don Shirley was still in contact with his brother during the events of the movie, but the movie says he isn’t. They also sped up the tour with a montage, which was good, but I wish I could’ve seen more of their time on the tour. In addition, they did not speak the Italian well in the movie, which they do speak a fair amount of.

Where the movie went well, it was very good. The humor was pretty good. My personal favorite of the running jokes in the movie is the one about the stolen jade stone. There were also good dramatic scenes. For example, the raining scene near the end of the movie was phenomenal, the emotion, the setting, the premise of the entire conversation was amazing.

In conclusion, I do recommend Green Book for a watch. I personally rate the movie at a 9/10 on the rating scale. It was a good movie at heart, and I absolutely loved it after I first watched it.