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Green Book  (DVD)


Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini

Director: Peter Farrelly

Brilliant, just brilliant - who says they can't make 'em like this anymore. It's 1962 and Tony Vallelonga (Mortensen), known as Tony Lip because of his constant chatter, is a mildly racial bouncer at the Copacabana Club in New York.

At leisure for two months while the club is closed for renovations, Tony finds himself contacted by distinguished black pianist Don Shirley (Ali), with a view to becoming his driver on an eight-week tour - into the Deep South, no less.

Although the pianist is classically trained, Tony discovers that he and his trio now play what you might call classical jazz. 'He plays like Liberace,' he enthuses in a letter to his wife (Cardellini), 'only better.'

Naturally, the two men, the ill-educated but street-smart Tony and the aloof, well-read and latently bisexual Shirley, have much to learn from one another and they do, with the assistance of a sparkling script (partly written by Tony's real-life actor-writer son) that never misses a trick.

Mortensen and Ali are pitch-perfect here, and the latter's piano-fingering is simply phenomenal. It must be added that Cardellini, once Velma in the Scooby-Doo films, is also excellent as Tony's loving wife.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: entertainmentOne. Colour by FotoKem.
127 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 Jun 2019