Set in 1962, a world-class pianist engages the services of Tony Lip to drive him on his tour of the Southern states. The title refers to the ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, a guide to where Afro-Americans could safely fill up with petrol, get a meal, or stay the night. In picking up on themes of racism, homosexual stigma and prejudice, it’s a worthy movie, but not Best Picture surely. Too sugar-coated and feel-good.
My rating: 4 stars
It didn’t make me feel good, it made me feel angry at the blatant racism!
I was angry at the racism too, but I found the focus on the friendship between the two men as a way of softening up the viewer and letting him/her off the hook, as if to say ‘see, we weren’t ALL that bad’
I didn’t interpret it like that. I thought it showed a man who had never really thought about racism learning what it was like, and also that it wasn’t going to be enough for him to sort his friend’s problems, it was a bigger issue that just one man.
I didn’t see the friendship softening up the racism angle and letting the viewer off the hook. I just saw it as the story of one person’s consciousness-raising. It was an interesting human story about a particular relationship. That was my problem, really. It was an interesting story but one that has played out so many times (just in different ways.)
I’m struggling to define why I felt it wasn’t Best Picture. I think it’s that the story wasn’t earth-shattering, because it’s set decades ago and nothing was done to draw parallels between then and now. The racism was terrible to see, but it’s too easy to think that that was then. What makes me really angry is to see that racism NOW. So, to put it another way, terrible racism in the past elicits horror for me (such as in “12 years a slave”) and sadness for those who suffered, but I my anger is more for what’s happening in my time, for things that shock me about my era, because I see anger as being related to things you might be able to do something about? This is me struggling to find words to explain my reaction that I’ve had trouble articulating.
We saw this on our cruise ship a couple of weeks ago. It is not a movie I would normally choose to see, but I thought it was quite good.
Yes, I agree completely, Janine. Not Best Picture for me either, albeit I enjoyed watching it.=.
I understand what Janine is saying Lisa. Of course the racism was terrible. We were supposed to see that and be angry, but it was feel good in the development of the relationship between the two men – that bit I agree was a bit sugar-coated and too feel good. My feeling in the end was that any strong message was diluted and lost in a way. But, I suppose it was based on a true story about those too men and that was the message they wanted to convey. Still, not Best Picture I thought too.