Why Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” is the Movie to Beat Come Awards Season

Nick Woodhouse

“Green book”, by Peter Farrelly, documents the true story of world-class piano player Dr. Don Shirley’s (Mahershala Ali) 1960 musical tour of the American South in which he’s escorted by New York Italian family-man Tony Lipp. This film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September and took him the trophy; an achievement just has been echoed by films such as La La Land and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in recent years. The famed film festival has proved as an accurate prediction to Oscar nominations in January, so it is safe to say I was excited to view this one. My expectations were high, and they were exceeded upon. This movie is fantastic and here’s why…


First off, let’s give a round of applause to Peter Farrelly. Here’s a director who’s known most for his rendition of the classic The Three Stooges franchise, and he comes and releases this movie? It’s crazy to even think about. This script is absolutely wonderful and serves as the primary reason as to why Farrelly was able to get pristine actors such as Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali to jump on board for the project. It would remarkable to see Farrelly get a nod in January for this fantastic work.


Other than a truly immaculate script, this film showcases the acting skills of two men that have repeatedly baffled the Academy year after year: Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. The interaction between these two characters, who hail from completely different background, are by far the superior scenes of Green Book. There’s one scene in particular in which Tony Lipp (Mortensen) is attempting to persuade Dr. Shirley (Ali) to rid of his civil manner and gnaw on a Kentucky Fried Chicken wing, what proceeds is hysterical. The acting performances in this movie manage to shine a light on the cultural differences between the two men while still highlighted the comedic genius of the script. Mahershala Ali does have an Oscar for his supporting role in the 2016 Barry Jenkins film “Moonlight”, but this year I think is Viggo Mortensen’s. He’s win-less at the Academy Awards with his last nomination also coming two years ago for his lead acting role in “Captain Fantastic.” This is the performance of his life if you ask me. Not only does Mortensen make a physical transformation (adding on weight to play the role of Tony Lipp) which the Academy is known to favor such as Gary Oldman’s win last year for “Darkest Hour”, but Viggo embraces himself into this role. He’s the front runner in my opinion in what should be a competitive year for the Performance in a Lead Role category.

As for the best picture, this one seems like the perfect storm. The amalgamation of esteemed actors in great performances, a possible script of the year, and an out of nowhere director sparks my curiosity on whether this is the winner. Movies such as A Star is Born and upcoming releases like the Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” could stage a big threat, but will it be enough? This my frontrunner as of now. Green Book is Brilliant.


Grade: A+