Thursday, September 29, 2022

Weekend Watch: ‘Green Book’ Debunks Theory of White Supremacists

Viggo Mortensen as Tony Vallelonga and Mahershala Ali as Dr. Donald Shirley in “Green Book.”

*The year’s best movie and a must see, “Green Book,” debunks white supremacists’ theory of superiority—in more ways than one. An average intelligent person would know that nothing could come of whites staying in the same hotel, eating at the same restaurant, or using the same bathroom as a black man. Yet, this depraved concept by many pseudo intelligent, wealthy whites existed as late as the 1960s.

“Green Book” tells an important story of race relations in America, but just as important is the relationship between DrDon Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his chauffer, Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen). When Tony ends up behind bars, Don tells him, “You can never win with violence.” Ironically, one of Mortensen’s best films is “A History of Violence.”

When bouncer Tony from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class pianist, who lives at Carnegie Hall, on a concert tour through the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were safe for blacks. Confronted with racism, and the dangers of Jim Crow laws, they set aside their differences and form a lifetime bond.

Directed by Peter Farrelly, “Green Book” also stars Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov, and Don Stark.


Widows” is a familiar heist story but this time around women are in the driver’s seat. In the hands of director Steve McQueen, not only is the female centric concept different but the casting, particularly with Viola Davis as the desperate grieving wife left to clean up husband Harry Rawlins’ (Liam Neeson) mess. And kudos go the McQueen for the scene that show their son stopped by cops.

The story of “Widows” is set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Liam Neeson and Viola Davis in’Widows.’ Photo Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Cynthia Erivo,  Robert Duvall, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, Carrie Coon, and Brian Tyree also star.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grendelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grendelwald” (“FB”), directed by David Yates, picks up where “Fantastic Beasts” left off. The powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne).

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander to help. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

“FB” continues to amaze with its spectacular special effects and character engagements. A favorite “beast” is Nagini (Claudia Kim). One of the creepiest onscreen transformations is James Earl Jones in “Conan The Barbarian.” Kim comes close to that.

J.K. Rowlands has always been inclusive with casting and “FB” is no exception. Members of the black cast include Zoe Kravitz, Carmen Ejogo, Cornell John, Claudius Peters, William Nadylam, Jessica Williams, Isaura Barbé-Brown, Hugh Quarshie, Johanna Thea, and Thea Lamb.      Twitter: @thefilmstrip

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.




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