MovieChat Forums > Green Book (2018) Discussion > Should Nick Vallelonga not have written ...

Should Nick Vallelonga not have written this film?!?


A lot of commentators are complaining that the film is taken from the POV of Frank Vallelonga, and not Don Shirley, but Nick Vallelonga, Frank's son wrote the screenplay. He was not qualified to write from Don Shirley's perspective. But should he be blamed for writing what he knows (i.e. his father's story)?

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No, the story was from Frank's eyes because Frank's son wrote it. I don't think it has anything to do with qualifications, that's the story he knew, that's the story his father told him, that's the story he told us.

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That's what I'm saying.

Nick was best qualified to tell a story from his father's perspective, and not Don Shirley's.

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Yes

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Nick knows Frank Vallelonga.

Nick doesn't know Don Shirley, and never bothered to interview Shirley's family members.

So, Nick really wasn't qualified to write about Don Shirley ... everything from Shirley's feelings towards fried chicken (he'd tried it before) to his sense of detachment from African Americans (apparently he was fine with the African America community) has since been disputed.

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Well, he was mostly writing from his dad's POV, right, because that's what he did knew?

But although he really should have spoken to the Shirley family, bear in mind that a lot of what they said contradicts his dad's recollections. Surely it would be hard for him to speak to people who were calling his dad a liar.

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We all know that memory is both selective and subjective..
And also that first impressions are also often wrong.
Nicks father might have very well initially seemed like an ignorant buffoon and Don Shirley may have seemed like an arrogant and rich black intellectual ..
I think they may have played up the differences at first to make the bridge between them seem even more unlikely. But that wouldn't be the first time writers and film makers took dramatic license.

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So should it have been written by somebody related to Don Shirley instead?

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That's not what I think.

My question is something of a challenge to the film's detractors.

My argument is that Nick Vallelonga, understandably, wrote what he knew, at least from his father, and shouldn't be condemned for that, nor the film for telling that particular story.

If Don Shirley's family object to the film's perspective, perhaps they should write their own film.

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