Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

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dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#76 Post by dda1996a » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:38 am

On the other hand, a lot of people I know who are not film savvy are wild about this, so I guess this knew it's target audience and hit it right for them

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#77 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:08 am

dda1996a wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:38 am
On the other hand, a lot of people I know who are not film savvy are wild about this, so I guess this knew it's target audience and hit it right for them
Two friends of mine who genuinely liked it told me (close to exact words) "yeah, I know it's a white savior story, but the performances justify the movie." That's all I heard from them though because we didn't discuss the movie further.

dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#78 Post by dda1996a » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:31 pm

I didn't even bother trying to go there. A friend of mine did exclaim I was crazy for calling this film racist though

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#79 Post by knives » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:29 pm

As the Internet is wont to do the reaction to this now seems extremely outsized and over simplified now that I've seen the movie. This isn't the second coming of Miss Daisy, but rather an enjoyable buddy comedy elevated by one performance to occasional greatness. The main rhetorical device Farrelly uses I've only seen elsewhere in Hurry Sundown, a better movie for the curious, wherein the black characters even extras are painted as humans and given some complexity while the white characters are the lowest stereotypes that any film could muster without becoming a hate crime. Mortensen especially as the comic relief plays into stereotypes so much that the film becomes uncomfortable at moments. As a comedy I feel that this device ultimately succeeds though because of Ali.

The Dr. Shirley we get here is a very complex character who as played by Ali is a guarded, intelligent man who understands the importance of his position, but doesn't know how to use it especially as he is so separated from black culture. The script only makes this explicit once in a wonderfully over the top moment by Ali near the end, but the performance seems to hinge on that dialogue allowing the audience to come to that conclusion well performance the script declares it. For example there's a lovely moment of pure silence where Ali looks at a bunch of cotton pickers. It's clear because of the performance that he is trying to imbue them with humanity, but there's also a bit of class prejudice he's built up that makes it hard for him to see them as connected to himself in any way. In short what Ali does is that rare thing in a comedy by having the straight man be the more interesting character.

To tackle one last critique against the film, which I am liking more and more as I think on it, this isn't a story of curing racism. Mortensen is still plainly racist by the end of the film, but his internal calculus has changed to be less racist which I feel is an important distinction. Later in the film the movie offers moments where he is still an ignorant goober or actively reacting to racist feelings such as the cop punching scene. This is most blatant with his family at the end of the film. They are still racist, but because Mortensen respects Ali they try their best as well at least in the moment because a fight isn't worth it. That I think is the film's most salient point on race which is that racism is in part a power struggle. If like the southerners you have the power to declare a sundown town there is no reason to calculate kindness in your interactions with gay or black people. If you're working for such a person though you definitely need to add that to your calculations.

dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#80 Post by dda1996a » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:03 pm

I didn't think this was worst film of all time (and is still better than Daisy, Crash, and Bohemian Rhapsody) but in no world is this a good film. The awful script, the understanding of a five year old regarding racism. And I though both actors way overplayed their parts to cliche. And that shot of the cotton pickers was just, awful. I can see where your reading of the film is coming from, and I'd have liked Dr. Shirley's internal struggle to get a lot more focus. But the film positions Mortensen as the guy who can help Shirley understand the lower class, which is positioned as largely Shirley not knowing "regular" black culture, which I found just offensive. And that ending is just.... So no this isn't the worst film of last year, but a good one it ain't.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#81 Post by knives » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:38 pm

In my world it is a good one so...
Also the film goes out of its way to say that Mortensen doesn't understand black culture better. He certainly thinks so, but Ali is given a monologue to refute that.

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bearcuborg
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#82 Post by bearcuborg » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:46 pm

Good posts knives, some of the few good ones in this thread.

dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#83 Post by dda1996a » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:50 pm

knives wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:38 pm
In my world it is a good one so...
Also the film goes out of its way to say that Mortensen doesn't understand black culture better. He certainly thinks so, but Ali is given a monologue to refute that.
I valued your criticism so I hope it didn't come out as if I was distasteful. I can't remember the line but many scenes show Mortensen teaching Ali how to enjoy black culture re: music and food. My main issue with the film was how cliched it was, way worse than how it portrayed and caricatured both.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)

#84 Post by knives » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:24 pm

There weee many scenes of him teaching Ali what he thinks of as black culture, but Ali notes that it is not his black culture. This is evident, for example when Ali talks about growing up in Florida. The bar scene likewise shows this with all of Ali's comments being shown as true while none of Mortensen's such as the food pop up. It is important that Ali plays Chopin and not Little Richard.

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