Green Book

Rated 4.0

In 1962, Bronx bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) takes a job as driver and bodyguard for black pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) as he tours the Jim Crow South. Take a true story, add a super-smart script (by Tony Lip’s real-life son Nick Vallelonga, with Brian Hayes Currie and director Peter Farrelly), brilliant turns by the two stars, and matching support from Linda Cardellini as Mortensen’s wife, and you get a bullseye crowd-pleaser, one of the feel-good movies of the year. The odd-couple pairing—one cultured, fastidious and circumspect, the other coarse, slovenly and heedless—ripens into mutual respect on common ground by hitting all the expected beats. It might have been painfully predictable, but the central relationship—and the superb actors portraying it—make it a pure pleasure.