The Green Book Review – Four Stars! Brilliant, Inspired, Heartwarming

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Green Book, from Universal Pictures, Dreamworks and Participant Media, presents the true story of piano virtuoso Don Shirley and his driver, Bronx bouncer Tony Vallelonga, and their encounters as they toured the deep south in 1962.

Directed by Peter Farrelly, The Green Book stars Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortsensen, Linda Cardellini, Dimiter D. Marinov, Mike Hatton, Don Stark, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jenna Laurenzo, P.J. Byrne, Nick Vallelonga, Brain Stepanek, Iqbal Theba, Joe Cortese, Tom Virtue, Daniel Greene, Tracy Brotherton and Paul Sloan. The Green Book was written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly with Octavia Spencer on board as Executive Producer.

The Green Book begin at the iconic Copacabana, circa 1962, where Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, a Italian American, worked as a bouncer. He never missed an opportunity, to distinguish himself with the neighborhood power. As the film opens, the Copa is closing for renovations.

After about a week of picking up a few bucks here and there he gets a call from a friend explaining a doctor is looking for a driver. Of course, as his wife Delores, played by Linda Cardellini, reminds him the rent is due. He heads downtown to 58th and Sixth, Carnegie Hall, looking for the doctor.


Outlaw King Review - Gripping, Stunning, Captivating


Walking into this palatial New York City apartment, ornately decorated with artifacts from cultures and cities throughout the world, Dr. Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, enters the room. Regal in dress and poised in appearance, he speaks without accent and enunciates his words perfectly and speak carefully. The opportunity is two months and will be well compensated, he is part chauffeur, part valet, part assistant and also part stage manager.

Tony, a man’s man, made it clear ironing the suit and laundering the clothing is outside of his boundaries and while he needs to job, he doesn’t need it that bad.

Within a week, Mr. Shirley contacts him and after speaking to his wife, the two begin a road trip that ultimately changes both their lives. As they are leaving New York, the record producer, gives Tony instructions on the seriousness of Mr.Shirley making each of the concert performances and hands him The Green Book, which details the list of establishments throughout the south that provide accommodation for African Americans.

As the trip begins and as most understand, traveling together can be a challenge. Tony and Don are two very different people, from very different backgrounds and each have built walls and protective barriers to deal with the world in which they live.

Northern concert dates are without incident, and the trip begins to strip away the layers of civility as the two reach deeper and deeper into the segregated south.

We see, even for a man of Dr. Shirley’s stature a piano prodigy invited to train at the Leningrad Conservatory of Music, a classical virtuoso, played for three presidents, invited to play with the best Philharmonics around the world, he is barely afforded the dignity of a house slave when he is not sitting at the piano.

These intensely resonating strikes against his persona by those who are allegedly influencers, who possess wealth, a belief in a white only god, who are supposed to be those who are leaders see only another black entertainer. This one has nothing to offer outside his mastery of the keys.

To say I enjoyed The Green Book is an understatement. With brilliant character driven performances, the film presents a layer of life few knew existed.

There are many things I enjoyed about the film. It was emotionally driven, one felt the outrage of certain denigrating situations. The director made the time and season clear. It was obvious they were in the segregated south, where even Italian Americans were not welcome after sundown, let alone those driving an African American around.

We also see the insidious practice of segregation wasn’t limited to the hatred of the “colored.” Anyone outside of Aryan white blood line fell into the category. Although, “white” and “colored” were the visible practice.

The Green Book also shows the journey of two vastly different people, who grow to respect and admire the other.


A Private War Review - Dramatic, Poignant, Heartfelt, Raw


When it comes to the performances, The Green Book is essentially a two hander, with Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, and the chemistry between the two had to captivating. The characters driven performances translate so well on screen. The acting is brilliant. They are each intriguing and engaging. The performances are strong contenders and expected to he around during awards season.

My first reaction after attending the AFI Film Festival presented by Audi presentation was this will defiantly mix things up for this year’s Oscar race.

The Green Book is a feel good film, with exceptional performances. Truly a great film, The Green Book defines a period of time, rises above circumstance, and becomes and inspiration.

The Green Book opens in select cities November 16, 2018 and on Thanksgiving Day everywhere. See it!

Haute Tease

  • Money News: US Markets Gain; World Markets Split; S&P500 Sets New Record

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average as well as the three other top America Indices had nice gains over the past week. Russell 2000, the NASDAQ and S&P500 all had a strong week, gaining enough momentum, in the respectable index to end strong with the DOW remaining above the 17,000 point record set over one month ago.

     
  • Bay Area Musicals Announces 2018-2019 Season Titles Include: Crazy For You, Violet, Hairspray

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bay Area Musicals (Matthew McCoy, Founder & Artistic Director, and AeJay Mitchell, Managing Director) has announced the show titles for its upcoming fourth season. The 2018-2019 season begins with Tony Award-winning Best Musical CRAZY FOR YOU.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/WH Pandemic Response, Europe Locks Down, Kenny Rogers, Election 2020

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump, in response to the ever-growing pandemic, this week invoked additional measures in the fight to slow the infection rate of American citizens while simultaneously ensuring the economic free fall doesn't translate into a lasting recession.

     
  • Beltway Insider: US, UK, Allies Unite Expel USSR Diplomats; Cold War Revisited; Kemerovo; Roseanne Reboot

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Beginning one week ago, President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle in response to the use of military grade chemical weapons on British soil.

     
  • President of Doctors For Disaster Preparedness Explains What Will Happen When We Re-open

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    If the country re-opens for business, there will be more cases of COVID-19 reported, and more deaths. And the more tests we do, the more cases we will find. If we remain locked down the expectations are the same.

     
  • Hackett Mill Gallery Announces Summer/Fall/Winter 2018 Programming

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The summer at Hackett Mill brings a solo feature by San Francisco painter Raimonds Staprans who is exhibiting several never before seen pieces and New York Studio School alumni living on the West Coast will present West Coast Connections.

     
  • Gun Control: Which States Have Banned Assault Weapons

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Democratic representatives staged a 25-hour sit-in this week to force a vote on gun control measures, yet it is unclear whether Congress will make any progress on the issue.  

  • The Third Wave Review - Miracles in the Midst of Devastation

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Third Wave,” a Morgan Spurlock Production and Alison Thompson Documentary, tells the story of four aid workers in aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami that decimated Sri Lanka and other countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

     
  • SpaceX NASA Launch Revitalizes Manned Space Program

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The recent successful launch of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo 2 manned mission was the second most watched space launch in history after the Apollo Moon Landing July 20, 1969.

     
  • RISE OF THE GUARDIANS: An Enchanted, Magical, Holiday Adventure from DreamWorks Animation

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, from animation master Jeffrey Katzenberg and the brilliance of DreamWorks, recently held its World Premiere, during the AFI Festival, at the famous Gruman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.

     
  • Four Seasons to Debut First-Ever Private Residences in Los Angeles at Gateway to Beverly Hills

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Four Seasons Private Residences Los Angeles, located at 9000 W. 3rd Street, is the company's first standalone residential project in North America and joins London's Twenty Grosvenor Square as one of only two worldwide.

     
  • Shooter Kills 12 at D.C. Navy Yard

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Washington DC dawn was disrupted when a former employee, dressed in military fatigues, accessed the U.S. Navy Yard and opened fire killing 12 and injuring eight before he was gunned down by police.

     
  • US Army Major General Assassinated in Afghanistan

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    U.S. Major General Harold Greene was assassinated, and fifteen other high ranking military personnel wounded, in a broad daylight staged attack during a joint visit to a UK military training facility in Afghanistan.

     
  • Spectacular Art Deco Emeralds and Magnificent Diamonds Headline Bonhams First London Fine Jewellery Sale Of 2018

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Set to be some of the most talked about lots in Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale next month (25 April) are three outstanding Art Deco jewels by Hennell who closed its doors for good in 2001.

     
  • The Second Story Liquor Bar Review - Divine Dining By Design

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Crazy. Sexy. Cool. No, I’m not referring to the gals of the famed pop music trio TLC, but rather Scottsdale’s hottest new haunt—The Second Story Liquor Bar. This eclectic eatery is trending as the see-and-be-seen Old town Scottsdale hotspot, and with good reason. The vintage-inspired vibe and visionary victuals at this intimate dining and imbibing venue are as distinctive as they are delightful.