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

  • Chris Wedge, Director of Fox Animation’s Epic, Is The Blue Sky Man

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Chris Wedge, Director of the Fox Animation Studios release "Epic," has been in this place before, with an amazing, eye popping, brilliant full length animated feature still gathering raves, long after its box office run has ended, from fans and film critics alike.

     
  • Love & Friendship Review - Beautifully Done, An Unconventional, Winning, Comedy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Love & Friendship, from Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions, present a beautifully crafted charmingly manipulative, visually creative experience, based on Jane Austen’s comedic novella, Lady Susan, depicting the manner in which society looks upon women of determination and freedom.

     
  • Business News: Marsha Lorenz, CEO Seniors First, Talks on The Importance of the Film Leftovers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Leftovers, from Uncork’d Entertainment, presents the story of the newest face of hunger, America’s Senior Citizens, those who served when duty called, the backbone of the great manufacturing era, those who escaped tyranny for a better life.

     
  • Beltway Insider, the Washington Round-Up from Haute-Lifestyle.com, Receives Nomination for Journalistic Excellence

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    For Immediate Release (Los Angeles, CA) – The Beltway Insider, the weekly review of the nation's top stories from the Washington beat, from Haute-Lifestyle.com, has been honored with a nomination for the prestigious Sidney Hillman Award for Journalistic Excellence.

     
  • Me and Earl and The Dying Girl Review – An Outstanding Teen Drama Worth Seeing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, from FOX Searchlight Pictures and Indian Paintbrush, presents a teen angst drama that provides an emotional roller coaster in triplicate as two friends become a trio over senior year fighting the known, unknown and unimaginable twists of fate.

     
  • The Chaperone Review - Exceptionally Good Performances, Well Written, A Must See

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Chaperone, from PBS Distribution, presents the story of Louise Brooks, the silent film star of the 1920s, just as she is bidding goodbye to Wichita, Kansas to begin her study of modern dance in New York City.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ISIS/ISIL Strikes Back; G20 Summit Meet; Chilly Russian Reception, China Visit; ACA

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ISIS/ISIL has decisively responded to the United States government decision to deploy additional troops to support and train Iraqi military with the execution of American hostage Peter Kassig, a Syrian Aid worker and former Army Ranger, kidnapped October 2013.  

     
  • The Green Inferno Review - A Five Star Bloody Good Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Green Inferno, from Magnolia Pictures, presents a horror film with a plausible intellectual story line taking the viewer on a heightened sensory journey from the concrete canyons of Manhattan to the untouched Peruvian jungles complete with unprecedented fear and shocking depictions.

     
  • Intimate Paintings By Tennessee Williams Captivate Audiences With Rare Museum Showing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    At the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in Miami Beach, the exhibition Tennessee Williams: Playwright and Painter, an intimate showing of nine exquisitely rare paintings by one of America's greatest playwrights, created by Williams in Key West during the 1970s. 

     
  • Boston Man Charged In Child Kidnapping Cannibalism Plot

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Geoffrey Portway, the final of three men who met online, has been charged with sending explicit messages that included plotting to kidnap, rape, torture, and murder children and then dismember and eat them.

     
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron Set to Exit Wednesday; Theresa May Wins by Default

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation after the British people voted to leave the European Union, a decision that is contrary to his political position, is set to officially leave his post Wednesday, July 13, 2017.

     
  • Russian Cannibal Couple Arrested; Suspected of Killing, Dismembering and Eating at Least 30 (Graphic Video)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A married Russian couple have been arrested after grisly pictures were discovered on a missing cell phone which showed the man with a bloodied severed hand in his mouth and several severed heads in the background.

     
  • XOXO Review - A Psychedelic, Heartwarming, Trip

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    XOXO, a Netflix original film, presents a modern romance against the backdrop of a SoCal mega Rave festival filled with near misses, close encounters of the Coachella kind, vibrant, fluorescent winter gardens and the magic of music.

     
  • The Two Faces of January Review – An Exceptional, Superbly Acted, Classic Noir Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Two Faces of January," from Studio Canal, Working Title Films and Magnolia Pictures, presents a cat and mouse murder mystery filled with international intrigue, exotic locations, heightened suspense and a web that captures from the beginning.

     
  • Op/Ed:The Fall Out From Harvey Weinstein Continues

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Entertainment Industry is facing its second major sexual assault scandal, in  as many years, with the shocking revelations that everyone seemed to have known, or heard about, and seemed to be generally accepted as commonplace.