MovieChat Forums > Green Book (2018) Discussion > Green Book is the Worst Best Picture win...

Green Book is the Worst Best Picture winner since Crash

Like that 2005 movie, Peter Farrelly’s interracial buddy dramedy is insultingly glib and hucksterish, a self-satisfied crock masquerading as an olive branch. It reduces the long, barbaric and ongoing history of American racism to a problem, a formula, a dramatic equation that can be balanced and solved. “Green Book” is an embarrassment; the film industry’s unquestioning embrace of it is another.

The differences between the two movies are as telling as the similarities. “Crash,” a modern-day screamfest that racked up cross-cultural tensions by the minute, meant to leave you angry and wrung-out. Its Oscar triumph was a genuine shocker; it clearly had its fans, but for many its inferiority was self-evident.

“Green Book,” a slick crowd-pleaser set in the Deep South in 1962, strains to put you in a good mood. Its victory is appalling but far from shocking: From the moment it won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, the first of several key precursors it would pick up en route to Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, the movie was clearly a much more palatable brand of godawful.

In telling the story of the brilliant, erudite jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who is chauffeured on his Southern concert tour by a rough-edged Italian-American bouncer named Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), “Green Book” serves up bald-faced clichés and stereotypes with a drollery that almost qualifies as disarming.

Mortensen and Ali, who won the Oscar for best supporting actor, are superb performers with smooth timing and undeniable chemistry. The movie wades into the muck and mire of white supremacy, cracks a few wince-worthy jokes, gasps in horror at a black man’s abuse and humiliation (all while maintaining a safe, tasteful distance from it), then digs up a nugget of uplift to send you home with, a little token of virtue to go with that smile on your face.

I can tell I’ve already annoyed some of you, though if you take more offense at what I’ve written than you do at “Green Book,” there may not be much more to say. Differences in taste are nothing new, but there is something about the anger and defensiveness provoked by this particular picture that makes reasonable disagreement unusually difficult. Maybe “Green Book” really is the movie of the year after all — not the best movie, but the one that best captures the polarization that arises whenever the conversation shifts toward matters of race, privilege and the all-important question of who gets to tell whose story.

I’ll concede this much to “Green Book’s” admirers: They understandably love this movie’s sturdy craft, its feel-good storytelling and its charmingly synched lead performances. They appreciate its ostensibly hard-hitting portrait of the segregated South (as noted by U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, who presented a montage to the film on Oscar night) and find its plea for mutual understanding both laudable and heartwarming. I know I speak for some of the movie’s detractors when I say I find that plea both dishonest and dispiritingly retrograde, a shopworn ideal of racial reconciliation propped up by a story that unfolds almost entirely from a white protagonist’s incurious perspective.


Green Book was the best movie of the year. It's as simple as that.


Worse than Moonlight, The Artist and The Hurt Locker? Fuck no. I'd say Green Book is one of the better ones.

Also, why do people pretend Argo is bad? It's one of the best.


I have a soft spot for it because I like Viggo so much. I thought it was pretty great.


I actually enjoyed it, not the best movie of the year but definitely deserved to be nominated.


What makes a movie seem like a bad choice is when it’s picked over other movies that you feel were more deserving. For me, hands down the worst film ever awarded an Oscar has to go unequivocally to “The English Patient.” While it’s not necessarily a bad movie, when you compare it to both “Fargo” and “Slingblade,” two movies of nearly transcendental quality that were released that same year, the inappropriateness of the award becomes self evident. Not that popularity should matter, but who these days gives a rats ass about “The English Patient” any more? On the other hand, “Fargo” continues to gain in popularity and is an almost timeless story.


Argo was much worse than all of them. Takes a true story that had already been made into a film and completely changes 90% of the facts. What was the point?


A real racist! Reported.


I thought Crash was a great Best Picture winner, people just love to whine about Brokeback Mountain not winning because it's another thing to whine about, and considering the subject matter of that movie, it's an EASY thing to complain about Brokeback Mountain not winning. Oscars so homophobic, right?

I finally watched Green Book last night, and I really enjoyed it. And yeah, it made me feel good to know they remained friends. I don't think this film was trying to "solve racism" as that moronic writer put it, but was telling a story of two men who found friendship during a difficult period in this country's history. I have no idea if it's better or worse than the other Best Picture nominees this year, because ever since people started letting their emotions get the better of them, and thinking that someone's, race, gender, or past should determine who or what the Best Picture, Actor, or Director is...when it instead should be about the quality of the films and performances themselves, I have COMPLETELY distanced myself from the Oscars, and I don't give a rats ass who wins anymore.

Green Book was a good film made about a sensitive subject, which is going to have detractors like the halfwit who wrote the OP's article, because it doesn't fit their perception of how racism in a movie should be treated. People like that will never be happy.

So...I think Crash was a good Best Picture winner, I think Green Book was a really nice and entertaining movie, that yeah, made me feel good.

You want to talk about bad Best Picture winners? Talk about Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan. I should have stopped watching the Oscars right there on the spot instead of waiting all the way until the #Oscarssowhite fiasco destroyed any credibility left for the Oscars.