Green Book wins the Oscar for Best Picture, Supporting Actor

The academy has again swept everyone by surprise as Peter Farrelly's Green Book has trumped its competition which includes diverse films like Black Panther, A Star is Born and Roma to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Green Book wins the Oscar for Best Picture, Supporting Actor Green Book wins the Oscar for Best Picture, Supporting Actor Source : Press

The academy has again swept everyone by surprise as Peter Farrelly's Green Book has trumped its competition which includes diverse(and seriously good) films ranging from Superhero blockbuster Black Panther, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's A Star Is Born, academy award winning director Alfonso Cuaron's masterpiece Roma(won the best director again), Spike Lee's most entertaining film in a long time and an important one BlacKkKlansman(bagged the Best Adapted Screenplay), and the period dark comedy, The Favourite to win the Best Picture at 91st Academy Awards.

Apart from Bohemian Rhapsody and Vice, featuring Rami Malek and Christian Bale in titular roles respectively, both nominated for the Best Actor in a leading role award where Rami Malek eventually beat Willem Dafoe(At Eternity's Gate), Viggo Mortensen(Green Book) and Bradley Cooper. On the other hand, Olivia Colman who played Anne, queen of Great Britain in Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite, came on top to beat Lady Gaga's stunning performance as Ally, Melissa McCarthy as the author Lee Israel in Marielle Heller directed biopic Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Yalitza Aparicio, a young Mexican actress on debut, in her role as Cleo in Roma.

Green Book: Viggo Mortensen plays Tony Lip, an Italian born white man who has run out of cash and will be out of work for a couple of months. He accepts the lucrative offer made by Don Shirley, a sophisticated black man who happens to be a genius piano player whom Mahershala Ali affords aplomb and class. Tony has built a reputation for himself as someone who can take care of troubles. Don Shirley assigns him as his chauffeur on the eight-week concert tour through the Mid-West and Deep South. This is 1962, and things aren't pretty down South.

In their journey, we observe the growth of both these men. They start off slowly as their egos repeatedly clash, but as they begin to get used to each other's company and start talking about their past, they begin to understand each other. The shared moments of harsh experiences surface their inner turmoil which is relatable--Tony has everyone but feels stuck in life, Don Shirley has everything except company and he doesn't know where he belongs. He faces constant racism from the whites and he spent his formative years in a music school, far away from the influence of Black culture. The mutual respect for each other blossoms into a friendship by the end of the tour.

The subjects of racism and unlikely friendship are brought to the fore by director Peter Farrelly who has undoubtedly made his best film in twenty years since There's Something About Mary. With the Oscar for Best Picture, Farrelly has well and truly announced his comeback after two decades of average returns. Farrelly's narrative decision to look at a black man's story from a white man's perspective who from a bigot becomes a sympathizer could be one of the reasons why it won the Best Picture award as both BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther, to some extent; more emphatically exemplify the ‘Black Power' theme.

Mahershala Ali has deservedly won his second Oscar, both for the category of Best Actor in a supporting role but it is pertinent to ponder over the fact that the movie was arguably about Don Shirley and yet at the center of it was Tony, a white man. Mahershala Ali beat Adam Driver(who has always nailed his character in BlackKKlansman), Sam Elliott(A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant(Can You Ever Forgive Me) and Sam Rockwell(Vice).

The screenplay written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly bagged the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It is because of superior writing that a serious subject was given the treatment of drama, comedy, and mystery in appropriate measure. Green Book was nominated for five awards in total and narrowly missed out in Best Film Editing and Best Actor category.


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