Green Book was a surprise winner (Picture: Universal Pictures) Provider: Universal PicturesGreen Book has been named Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars – but not everybody is happy about it.
The Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali-starring drama beat out A Star Is Born, The Favourite, BlackKklansmen, Black Panther, Roma, Bohemian Rhapsody and Vice to the big prize at the 91st Academy Awards.
But while this has been the most open race in years for the Oscars, reaction to the film winning was seriously mixed.
Green Book has been accused of perpetuating the ‘white saviour’ trope, as well as being accused of not telling the truth about the story of Tony Lip (Mortensen) and Don Shirley (Ali).
Not everyone is happy with the decision (Picture: REUTERS)Lip was hired as a driver and bodyguard for the African-American musician Don Shirley in the 1960s, and Green Book portrays the pair driving across the Deep South in a time of extreme racial tension.
Members of Don Shirley’s family have been vocal in their objection of the film, with Shirley’s great-niece Yvonne telling THR: ‘For my family, this is not nor has it ever been a debate. It’s just about the truth. We know the truth of our loved one.
‘They decided to make Don Shirley estranged from his black family, though that was not true. They decided to make him absurdly disconnected from black community and culture, though that was not true. They decided to depict him as having spent his formative years in Europe, though he spent them in the Deep South where he was born and raised. They decided to create a story of a white man’s redemption and self-realisation using an extraordinary black life and a history of black oppression in this country as their backdrop. Many viewers are simply tired of that devaluing narrative.’
And people are annoyed or simply baffled that Green Book took home the big prize:
One person tweeted: ‘Remember that time @TheAcademy decided that Green Book was a better film than The favourite, Roma And Blackkklansman?’, while another wrote: ‘It is quite an achievement to be both a terrible movie and a forgettable movie. Congratulations Green Book!’
And another tweet read: ‘Hollywood loves white savior narratives.’
A peeved viewer added: ‘Green Book is a white washed feel good movie for people who say “I’m not racist but…”‘
Others pointed out that Spike Lee’s BlackKklansmen lost to Green Book, after his masterpiece Do The Right Thing missed out on a nomination the year Driving Miss Daisy won.
Green Book also won for Best Original Screenplay, and Mahershala Ali took home the Best Supporting Actor gong.
If you’re not a fan of the drama yourself, perhaps you’ll enjoy Seth Meyers’ skewering of other white saviour movies…
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