Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

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Fiery Angel
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#51 Post by Fiery Angel » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:46 am

Out of 10 I hope

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tenia
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#52 Post by tenia » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:22 am

We loved Intouchables, we love Miss Daisy, I'm not surprised we can love this one. It has been probably the most covered movie this week in newspapers.

dda1996a
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#53 Post by dda1996a » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:47 am

Intouchables I can stomach, Miss Daisy is awful

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bearcuborg
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#54 Post by bearcuborg » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:18 pm

I never saw Daisy, but it Can’t be worse than Life Itself, which is probably closer to Crash than Greenbook. I was forced to sit through it a few nights ago, I’m still not buying any audience ever reacted well to that dreck.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Greenbook

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John Cope
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#55 Post by John Cope » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:04 pm

Still can't comprehend the hate for Daisy, a lovely, well performed and preciously humane film. If Green Book is like that then good.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#56 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:01 pm

I can't decide yet whether this film is more or less frustrating because it actually is in many ways a well-constructed, fairly effective comedy-drama crowd-pleaser that happens to be in service of a facile, naive story seemingly designed to appeal to people who want to feel good about racism without feeling the inconvenient urge to do or change anything about themselves or their society.

Mahershala Ali is fine though not particularly award-worthy as Don Shirley (I'll get to Mortensen later), and Farrelly is experienced enough to make this all proceed smoothly. He even constructs a sequence or two with surprising charm, like Shirley's impromptu performance in a dive of a juke joint in Alabama, and the editing often hits just the right beats to make a joke deliver.

The script, on the other hand, panders so heavily to the inherent goodness and rightness of Mortensen's character — and therefore to the film's target audience — and glosses over anything that might be upsetting about the characters or society being depicted that any good work being done here is more or less lost; the script seems to be trying to serve as a healthy dollop of sugar to make the rest of the film go down easy, except they accidentally use ipecac syrup instead for the opposite result.

Even setting aside the question of accuracy in the film's representation of Shirley, the way it manipulates Shirley to allow him to serve as the flawed character who grows over the course of the film — while Tony just seems to magically overcome his noxious early display of racism and become the "magical Guido" who helps Shirley learn some things about what really matters in life — is so heavy-handed and misguided that the relative quality of the execution starts to seem like an affront itself. But this film is well-crafted, and sometimes funny, and sometimes something that might even approach being touching were I not in such a heightened state of skepticism due to its foundational problems — and for that I guess some of the participants deserve some credit.

That said, while I've been busy doling out vitriol to the script, let me finish with my disappointment with the lead performance. I think Mortensen takes the exact wrong approach to this character, where a different tack might have ameliorated some of the inherent problems in how it's written. Instead of using his performance to heighten the contrasts between the less palatable quirks presented alongside the fundamental goodness of the character as presented in the script, Mortensen leans so heavily on presenting us with a charmingly thuggish goofball with a heart of gold that the glimpses we get of incongruously vile behavior (like the infamous glasses scene early on) seem less like character shading than schizophrenia. Really making this performance a complicated one — which probably would have required pushing back on Farrelly's direction and the intent of the script, so I'm not entirely blaming Mortensen that this didn't happen — could have saved this movie from being as easily dismissable as it ultimately is.

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Finch
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#57 Post by Finch » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:58 am

If you had told me a year ago that there is a film coming out starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali that I'd think twice about going to see I'd have called you crazy and yet here we are. Social message films tend to make me want to run for the hills (mainly because they are usually more lecturing than compelling) and the trailer makes this look insufferably smug. Guess I'll sit this out and therefore refrain from commenting on whether it has any business being nominated.

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knives
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#58 Post by knives » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:43 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:32 pm
From Mark Harris in Vulture: Green Book Flopped. But Who Was It Supposed to Be For?
Mark Harris wrote:Green Book is a but also movie, a both sides movie, and in that, it extends a 50-year-plus tradition of movies that tell a story about American racism that has always been irresistibly appealing, on and offscreen, to that portion of white Americans who see themselves as mediators. They’re the reasonable, non-racist people poised halfway between unrepentant, ineducable racists on one side and, on the other, black people who, in this version of the American narrative, almost always have something to learn themselves.
...
What Green Book may not know is who it’s for. The portion of the white moviegoing audience that needs to be handled with this much care and flattery is getting smaller every year, and the nonwhite audience, at this point, seems justifiably wary of buying a version of someone else’s fantasy that it has been sold many, many times before; besides, it has other options. Underlying the bet that Green Book would be a crowd-pleaser is a long-outdated presupposition about the composition of the crowd — a belief that racism can only be explained to white audiences via a white character, and a concurrent belief that those white audiences are pivotal to the success of any movie. But they’re not. This weekend, two movies directed by black men, Creed II and Widows, made the top ten and handily outgrossed Green Book. While that’s not a common occurrence, it’s no longer a headline-worthy exception — and in a year that also includes Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, and (shortly) Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk, moviegoers in search of black characters no longer need to look over the shoulder of a white director or co-star in order to find them.
Was looking for another movie and bumped into this and it reads far differently now that the film is unquestionably a success.

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TMDaines
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#59 Post by TMDaines » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:27 pm

Really, really enjoyed this. Tonally it feels very much like Intouchables, which I really loved a few years ago too. Both Mortensen and Ali are great in their roles. The dialogue is very witty throughout and got a lot of laughs out of me. Don’t really get the accusations of white saviour. They just feels like lazy mud slinging. Ali’s character is clearly positioned as the torchbearer and inspires all those around him (at least those unblinded by race). Shirley “saves” or teaches Lip on a more deeper level, than Lip literally saves Shirley at times.

I feel a bit ashamed going into it that I wanted to hate this film and talked it down to the missus before watching it. I’m sure there’s a certain irony there about prejudice somewhere.

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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#60 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:21 pm

TMDaines wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:27 pm
Ali’s character is clearly positioned as the torchbearer and inspires all those around him (at least those unblinded by race). Shirley “saves” or teaches Lip on a more deeper level, than Lip literally saves Shirley at times.
I have not seen the film, but some of the criticism in the film (from early on) that I saw wasn't simply that it was a white savior film, but that Shirley also was another "Magical Negro." Indeed, actually, Don Shirley is listed as an example on the Wikipedia entry for occurrences of this trope! If I were writing an English paper on this (not that we should take all of our experiences through this prism) it seems to me actually that the Shirley's character depends on Lip's character to save him from physical harm so he can remain physically unthreatening, and therefore a more pure character. Like I said, I haven't seen the film and am riffing purely from your description (and the pieces that I've seen).

I don't want to say that I'm glad people are enjoying it yet, but, hearing more positive experiences from members like you will make me go into seeing it (whenever I get around to that) with a more open attitude.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#61 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:40 pm

New post from Glenn Kenny on his blog.

An excerpt:
Glenn Kenny wrote:Over and over I’ve seen white folks who otherwise hold all sorts of interesting opinions about black folks call Green Book a “feel good” movie. Yes. Sure. You feel good. About yourself. Without having done anything. Without having gained, or try to gain, any knowledge of black culture. Instead, you’ve had an easy laugh at a mouthy mook telling a stuck-up black guy that the black guy doesn’t know enough about HIS OWN culture. Well don’t that just beat all.

I’ve seen some arguments that strongly implied that had the film been more accurate in its depiction of Don Shirley, it could not have made its important brotherhood points as strongly. In which case it’s only fair to ask, “Well, which points are you talking about?” Because the film depicts Shirley in such a way as to allow the character Tony Lip to lecture the character Don Shirley about not knowing the cultural product of his own people. Whereas the actual, historical Don Shirley, in 1962, made an important recording called Piano Arrangements Of Spirituals and would subsequently record, in 1969, The Gospel According To Don Shirley.

...

But still. It’s worth noting that Octavia Spencer is also a producer of the movie. And that the movie has elicited warm, genuine, intelligent praise from some African-Americans...Harry Belafonte’s praise for the film threw me for a loop. Particularly because Belafonte is a crucial presence in a sequence in BlacKkKlansman which contrasts an African American cultural space (a consciousness-raising meeting in which Belafonte’s character gives a traumatic accounting of a lynching) and a white cultural space (a Ku Klux Klan initiation).

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Brian C
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#62 Post by Brian C » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:46 pm

I agree that the “white savior” criticism is lazy but the “magical Negro” criticism goes beyond lazy and into the realm of offensively stupid. I haven’t really seen that tossed around in relation to this film but I would immediately disregard anyone that I encountered pushing it.

The film does its share of pandering- the whole “look at these two guys, they’re different but somehow they still get along!!!” story trope is inherently pandering, I feel - but it doesn’t pander as hard as it might have. I think it’s a mediocre film from a simple filmmaking standpoint, but I also think some its detractors have seemed hellbent on making certain criticisms about it regardless of whether the actual film supported them or not.


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tenia
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#63 Post by tenia » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:09 pm

I haven't seen the movie so I'm guessing this by curiosity and not for trying to stir up any controversy, but from what I gathered, it seems like Ali's character is the black equivalent of a Manic Pixie Girl.

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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#64 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:22 pm

I was thinking the same thing re: manic pixie dream girl, in line with the thought of black characters or women serving as emotional or maturity laborers for white male characters (or female; see The Help).

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Brian C
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#65 Post by Brian C » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:32 pm

tenia wrote:I haven't seen the movie so I'm guessing this by curiosity and not for trying to stir up any controversy, but from what I gathered, it seems like Ali's character is the black equivalent of a Manic Pixie Girl.
No. This is not even close.

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tenia
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#66 Post by tenia » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:45 am

Oh, OK, thanks for the precision then.


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mfunk9786
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#68 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:35 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:25 pm
If they ever want to remake this ... with a right-wing bent...
This is a batting practice pitch for someone here, so I'll just take a swing:

"Again?!"

OK, done.

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Big Ben
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#69 Post by Big Ben » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:40 pm

The full plot of Nick Vallelonga's next film with "Patty Amore" is revealed!

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Luke M
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#70 Post by Luke M » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 pm

This movie is absurd. Finally watched it tonight and it somehow managed to be worse than imagined. Every character goes even beyond stereotypes. Linda Cardenelli's Italian-American wife is always in the kitchen. Cops in the south are racist. And on and on and on. No nuance except from two leads who don't seem to act like actual human beings. Then there's the tone which is just all kinda weird. Scenes of guys saying horribly racist things followed by upbeat 50s/60s pop songs. It's the worst of the films nominated for Best Picture this past year and it's not even close.

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movielocke
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Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#71 Post by movielocke » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 am

This was perfectly fine as a road movie / comedy, in terms of how it handles the realities of race and the titular green book it seems very soft and deliberately vague and naive about a very hard and clear subject. On the other hand, the film is firmly told from Vallelonga’s privileged perspective of ignoring the double world around him (while he is taking advantage of it) and while his eyes are opened gradually throughout the film, he’s still willfully, proudly ignorant in the climatic scene in Alabama. So in some respects the design of the film seems to be to deliberately create and achieve the most troubling aspect of the film’s approach to history.

I liked the film overall, the comedy was well done throughout and both performances were wonderful. I loved the weariness of Mortensen coming home at five in the morning after the opening scene, it’s a very lived in piece of acting. And everything Ali did was wonderful.

It’s a perfectly fine middle of the road Oscar bait movie. A bit weird made in 2018, even weirder that it won but eh, thats the way it goes.

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aox
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#72 Post by aox » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:24 am

movielocke wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 am
Vallelonga’s privileged perspective
Can you expound on this a little more? The film went out of its way to show once they got to the south he was also way out of his element.

I saw this for the first time last night and I thought it was pretty awful.

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movielocke
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Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#73 Post by movielocke » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:11 pm

aox wrote:
movielocke wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 am
Vallelonga’s privileged perspective
Can you expound on this a little more? The film went out of its way to show once they got to the south he was also way out of his element.

I saw this for the first time last night and I thought it was pretty awful.
Everything he does shows how thorough his ignorance is of the double world around him. And how privileged he is to be allowed to ignore it. He stops at Kentucky fried chicken, ignorant that Shirley can’t come in. He steals the rock, ignorant that his theft of the rock is an acceptable probable cause for any official or unofficial lynching and possible murder of Shirley. Likewise he can just walk into the convenience store there and buy something. He’s shocked that colored motels are not very nice, but he readily stays at a much nicer white hotel, (until the end of the film, one of the transitions he makes), he walks into a store expecting that having enough money means Shirley can shop there. He can punch a cop for calling him a half nigger without being murdered on the spot. He has absolutely no clue why Shirley makes the effort to drive a forty minute round trip to pee. He thinks the mocking fried chicken dinner at the plantation is great and doesn’t see the naked contempt it represents. And of course he is baffled at the end of the film that Shirley can’t eat in the restaurant he is performing in.

Pretty much every scene is about Vallelonga being unable to see what’s in front of his face.

Whether or not a New York two bit mobster is out of his element in the south is beside the point that he’s walking in a very different world and remains more or less obtuse that there are two worlds around him because it’s convenient to ignore it, even when his reason for being there is because of those two worlds.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#74 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:24 pm

I’m digging how an ad for the movie is popping up for me below all of these negative posts.

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dustybooks
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Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#75 Post by dustybooks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:43 am

This was like a bot-generated "feel good" movie constructed from bits of Driving Miss Daisy, Intouchables and Planes, Trains and Automobiles; it was very awkwardly edited, with scenes ending in strange moments throughout, and several plot elements raised and unceremoniously dropped, plus a lot of very... 101 tropes. Still, I didn't hate it nearly as much as I thought I would, even though most of its attempts at sociological relevance were cringe-inducing. I don't know how a person watches this and Roma and finds this more artistically accomplished, even if you see the latter as a failure... but I found it a much more competent film than Bohemian Rhapsody, so my line is still: at least that one didn't win.

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