Oscar winner for Best Picture 2018 Green book the controversy surrounding its portrayal of race relations is remembered today more than its actual history. Viggo Mortensen came in for much of the criticism as many believed his role in the film was a classic example of the “white savior” trope in the movies. In a recent interview, Mortensen weighed in on the controversy and unfairness of what the film has come to mean to a certain section of the audience when it comes to stories involving race.
“[The film is] a story that was based on a very real friendship, and real events, with very few freedoms taken at all, but there was this small minority who said that was not the truth at the time, these people didn’t weren’t friends, these things didn’t happen, etc. The idiot in this story was the white guy. There was a steep learning curve for the character I was playing. But they both learned from each other. And the point is, it was based on real events. So the people who really tried to damage the reputation of the film while it was on air, as you say, and people still to this day are like, “Oh, is that this year’s green book?” Like it’s a stain to have been a part of this movie, which is ridiculous. This very small minority was either unconsciously or knowingly misinformed and misinformed about the basis of this story and the friendship on which it is based. “
Green book was inspired by the true story of a tour of the Deep South of African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley and Italian-American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga who acted as driver and bodyguard of Shirley. The film has been criticized for focusing on Frank’s redemption as a bigot at Shirley’s hands, as well as accusations by surviving members of Shirley’s family that the film distorted Shirley and Tony’s relationship as being much more intimate than it actually was. For Viggo Mortensen, these detractors take nothing away from what he considers a well-made film whose themes are still relevant to the state of the world today.
“It was unfortunate and very irritating, because we wanted to talk about the film and the subject of racism historically and the fact that things had not changed far enough yet, as we have seen in recent years. -Sure, It was obvious. It was unfortunate that this happened, but audiences, from all walks of life, in all countries, reacted extremely favorably to the film. I think – and I said it at the time – I think it’s a really good movie and it will stand the test of time. I think it’s up there in the tradition of the best work of people like Preston Sturges and others. It’s a movie really well done, a precious period and insight into a time in US history, with repercussions so far and with lessons for this day. “
This news first appeared at The movie scene in a discussion of Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Fall.
Topics: Green Paper