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"Inspired by true events" movies are almost always heavily dramatized and rife with inaccuracies, so the fact that people are getting mad about this movie's is rather puzzling. At any rate, at no point does this movie's inaccuracies vilify the real-life people it is inspired by - perhaps Don Shirley wasn't as close to Tony Lip as he is portrayed here, perhaps he was closer to his family or more in-tune with popular black culture than is shown in this movie. Perhaps he was, as Don Shirley has himself stated. So what? None of these changes make him a bad person, it's not even close to "character assassination", as I've read elsewhere. The controversy around the film is wholly unwarranted and has been blown way out of proportion. Well, it IS Oscar season and the film is in the running, so some pointless controversy had to be drummed up - in fact the controversy around this movie is strikingly similar to the one that erupted around La La Land. Who gives a shit about some dumb thing one of the screenwriters said years ago? That's right, no one acting in good faith, because it doesn't change anything about the movie itself.
In any case, the movie's message when it comes to race and racism is a rather simple, hopeful one, and you know what?
It's fine. We need movies like this, movies that tell us individuals can learn to look past their prejudices and that maybe, just maybe, racism is a fundamentally absurd concept that one day will be a thing of the past. Not every movie about racism needs to be 12 Years A Slave. At no point does the movie downplay the brutality of racism and the pain caused to its victims, and what it trades for physical violence it trades for the moral kind without ever feeling like it goes too far. Green Book and Blac KK Klansman, in this regard, don't present opposite views on race matters but complementary ones.
The movie is smartly-written, smartly-paced, and benefits greatly from the chemistry between its two showstopping leads: the picture wouldn't be half as good without Mortensen and Ali at the lead (yes, they're both leads, even if Mortensen is present in it slightly more: their character arcs are both equally as important to the narration). It mixes comedy and lighter moments with character drama rather elegantly, and manages to keep a respectful tone throughout - Green Book's protagonists aren't perfect, but the film respects them and their ability to change and grow as human beings.
Did it deserve the Best Picture win? I don't think so, but I'm glad just for the salt of people who haven't seen it.
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