CLINTON — Every once in awhile a movie comes around you think about for days after you’ve seen it. “Green Book,” starring Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) and two-time Best Supporting Actor winner, Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Free State of Jones), is that kind of movie playing this Monday afternoon at the Kirkland Town Library.
Road pictures, or movies that take place on some sort of cross-country travel, are typically fun movies to watch. They romanticize adventure and the thrill we all get when we “head out for the territory” as Mark Twain once said. Buddy pictures are also fun. Watching two people form a relationship as the story arcs is entertaining - think Thelma and Louise, or Easy Rider. Like those two classic films, “Green Book” has both these elements, a road, buddy movie.
This biographical comedy-drama has Mortensen portraying New York City tough, Frank “Tony Lip” Vellelonga, who incidentally is an actor himself, and if you’re a fan of HBO’s, The Sopranos, portrayed New York City Mafia Don, Camine Lupertazzi, in that series. However, before Hollywood paid the Bronx actor’s bills there was Dr. Don Shirley, an African-American pianist, portrayed by Mahershala Ali, who travelled the Deep South on a concert tour in 1962. Needing a driver and bodyguard, Shirley hires Vellelonga and the stage is set for two of the most unlikely people to become friends.
Ali won not only the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, but the Golden Globe, Screen Actor’s Guild and the BAFTA Award in the same category. In addition, the film won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. It was nominated for Best Actor for Mortensen, and Best Film Editing. The National Board of Review awarded it the best film of 2018, and the American Film Institute rated it as one of the 10 best films of 2018. It won the People’s Choice Award when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2018.
Watch for new comer, stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco as Johnny Venere and Linda Cardellini (Bloodline, Mad Men) as Dolores Vellelonga. This film rates five out five bags of popcorn...and Ill bet it sticks with you. Like so many of the movies seen at the Kirkland Town Library this month. It’s funny, it’s serious, it’s warm and delivers a punch. It will keep you thinking.
Showtime is Monday, March 25, at 2 p.m. at the Kirkland Town Library. Admission is free. Popcorn will be served. This film is rated PG-13.