I honestly didn’t have a dog in Sunday night’s fight for best picture or the Academy Awards in general. Hollywood pretty much ignored the film I believed deserved the award recognition which was Leave No Trace. Despite it being amazing, there was no progressive angle to the film and that is the only thing the Hollywood cared about…progressive politics.
Black Panther…an nearly all-black cast, nomination
BlacKkKlansman…an hate letter to Donald Trump and the KKK, nomination
Bohemian Rhapsody…gay superstar musician, nomination
The Favourite…really old lesbians, nomination
Roma…immigration, Mexico, nomination
Vice…more republican hate porn, nomination
A Star is Born…Remake #4 starring Gaga & Bradley, nomination
Then that leaves us with Green Book, a story about a racist driver who is hired by a black piano player to travel him to gigs in the segregated deep south. The story was good enough to be nominated without question earlier in the year. Hell, the film was even good enough to score Mahershala Ali an Oscar for best supporting actor. However, when the film he starred in wins the award for best picture, suddenly Progressive Hollywood has a meltdown and you would have thought that Birth of a Nation had just won. So what is the big deal, why is every progressive outlet in the country having a meltdown over Green Book’s win? The same reason it was nominated in the first place…politics.
Before I address that let’s talk about the film that won the award. Green Book is a film set in the early 1960s, A New York City bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) finds himself out of a job and crosses paths with an African American pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who is looking for a driver for his eight-week concert through the racist Deep South. Despite being prejudice himself, Frank assists Don and keeps him out of trouble despite the fact that trouble always seems to follow him, especially in the South.
I will be pretty blunt, does Green Book deserve to be best picture? No, neither does any other film that was nominated. Now don’t get me wrong, Green Book is a good movie but not a great movie. We have seen this story played out before. A film set before the invention of the color TV because it always gives Hollywood a canvas to remind everyone how racist those southerners were (Southerners who happened to be Democrats BTW and before you go on about how the party ‘switched sides’, ask George Wallace, Robert Byrd, Al Gore Sr., Jimmy Carter, and even David Duke how that narrative worked out) so what you get is the racist guy who meets a black guy, sees real racism happen to said black guy, and eventually comes around. No, it’s not a ‘white savior’ film because Frank doesn’t save Don from anyone but himself, it’s simply a playbook we have seen so many times that at a certain point you just roll your eyes over it. Hell, the setup here isn’t much different than what we saw in BlacKkKlansman but that film targeted Trump so progressives didn’t seek issue with it.
There are good themes to the film, Don Shirley is a character struggling with his identity in more ways than one. He’s a successful black man in time there aren’t many black people that mirror his success. While he is treated well while he is on stage, when he is no longer playing he is treated just as terribly as any other black person during the 1960s. There is even an angle teasing his sexuality as well so yes, it’s all there. Tony Lip is a character who despite being white isn’t as successful and educated as his counterpart shares more understanding of the lifestyle of a poor American just like many other blacks at that time. Both characters have character flaws to overcome and their friendship helps them do that. Green Book all in all is a good movie, just like a great one.
Now back to the meat and potatoes, why are people so upset that this film won? Two reasons, first the film was not ‘progressive enough’ for the left. Green Book didn’t have a majority black cast or subject matter that the winner could lecture the audience about being difficult in the age of a Republican president. It was pretty much a film that tackles racism but not in the sense that it demonized white people or the country in general…not progressive enough. The media seems to be more upset that the film’s win took away the opportunity to write puff pieces patting themselves on the back for delivering an award season that was full of diversity and progress. As Progressive outlet Salon put it:
There are other movies which could have conceivably won the Academy Award for Best Picture without it being an injustice to the Marvel movie. “BlacKkKlansman” was another movie that had interesting and powerful observations about racism and white supremacist ideologies in the United States, while “Vice” was a sly and darkly comic look at the power structures that keep extreme right-wingers in charge of our political institutions. Either one of those could have been chosen as a commentary on the world we inhabit without seeming like an insult to the intellect.
Ah yes, you see Green Book didn’t demonize the American right wing because when you look at the racism between blacks and Italians in New York City or the even strong racism amongst Dixiecrats…that was your side Salon. You see progressives wanted so badly to write about racism, colonialism, economic exploitation, right wing conservatives, and all the other crap no one wants to listen to. So when Black Panther didn’t win despite the media being in the tank for it for well over a year, that is when the venom was unleashed
You can almost taste the bitterness. But the real reason that Progressives are furious with the film, was because one of the writers said something that supported Trump, like 4 years ago…Yes because Trump support in Hollywood is a death sentence. Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga supported then-candidate Donald Trump’s claim that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated on September 11, 2001. He tweeted in 2015 that Donald Trump was “100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news.” Vallelonga later disavowed the statement and the tweet and apologized.
And just like that Green Book was no longer woke enough to win an Oscar, but it did. If Hollywood wasn’t so pants on head leftist, they would have figured out a LONG TIME after
#OcsarsSoWhite that they will never make these people happy. #OcsarsSoWhite was never about diversity and inclusion, it was about power. They weren’t happy that they didn’t get to call the shots in Hollywood so they complained and demanded the Hollywood give up their seat to them. While a smart man wouldn’t even entertain the crazies especially at the expense of your event, Hollywood doubles down on crazy because when it comes to Progressives, there will always be a victim somehow somewhere and they are slightly more oppressed than the person standing in front of them.
Is Green Book a ‘Best Picture’ movie? No. But it deserved it more than Black Panther and BlackKklansman…