Don't get me wrong — I'm all about kicking back, inviting over my best pals (aka Ben and Jerry, of course), and watching the annual Academy Awards. And while I thoroughly enjoy checking out all the red carpet ~lewks~ and catching up on all the celebrity drama, I mostly get excited to see who won Best Picture. This year, Green Book won the highly coveted award, and to be completely honest, I didn't see it coming. However, it looks like I wasn't the only one. These tweets about Green Book winning Best Picture at the Oscars show everyone has a lot of feelings.
While I didn't see the Green Book film, I heard some mixed reviews. The story was supposed to be fantastic and the cast was freakin' amazing (I mean Mahershala Ali, come on!). Honestly, it looked like an overall Oscar-worthy film.
However, Green Book brought with it a lot of controversy. A few family members of the late Dr. Don Shirley — the real-life musician who is portrayed in the film by Ali — Maurice E. Shirley, Sr. and Maxine C. Leftwich, put out a couple statements regarding the film shortly after the release. The movie claims it's based on a true story of Shirley's relationship with bodyguard/chauffeur Tony Lip. But Maurice and Maxine claim the movie is a "Disney-style" fantasy, and that the storyline is dramatized, taking advantage of the rise in hate crimes and neo-Nazism in the United States. Elite Daily reached out to Universal Pictures for comment on these statements at the time, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Leftwich's statement read, in part:
Our family is boycotting the film due to the implicit and the explicit affronts we have endured while critics have hailed the film for its artistic brilliance and its timely juxtaposition to the rise in hate crimes, White Nationalism, and neo-Nazism in the contemporary United States.
Maurice Shirley's letter, stated:
My brother never considered Tony to be his 'friend'; he was an employee, his chauffeur (who resented wearing a uniform and cap). This is why context and nuance are so important. The fact that a successful, well-to-do Black artist would employ domestics that did NOT look like him, should not be lost in translation.
Needless to say, Oscar viewers' reactions to Green Book's Best Picture win are pretty mixed. Make sure to check out the confused reactions below.
Some of the reactions from the Twitterverse, however, were quite positive. Many movie buffs out there really, really liked the movie, and felt that the win was — in fact — very well-deserved.
I'm really not sure what to think about any of this, in all honesty, and it seems like people on Twitter can't agree either.
If you haven't already seen the movie, Green Book tells the story of an African-American classical pianist, Don Shirley, and his Italian-American bodyguard and chauffeur, Tony Lip. It follows a two-month journey from New York City down south where Shirley went on tour, and over the two months, the two men form a bond. Lip starts out with super racist and homophobic views, but by the end of their journey, he totally 180s. The movie claims it's a true story based on true characters (Dr. Don Shirley), and it was written by Tony Lip's son, Nick Vallelonga, but as seen from some of Shirley's family's statements, there doesn't seem to be total agreement as to how close to the truth the movie lies.
Some of the actors have defended the film, though, with Mahershala Ali telling the Associated Press:
It’s approached in a way that’s perhaps more palatable than some of those other projects. But I think it’s a legitimate offering. Don Shirley is really complex considering it’s 1962. He’s the one in power in that car. He doesn’t have to go on that trip … Anytime, whether it’s white or black writers, I can play a character with dimensionality, that’s attractive to me.
It was surprising that Bohemian Rhapsody didn't win the highly-coveted award. The film based on band Queen swept both of its nominated categories at the Golden Globes (winning Best Actor for Rami Malek and Best Motion Picture — Drama), and while the movie was up for five Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards, they won Best Sound Mixing, Best Actor (Rami Malek), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. It almost swept the wins, however, so I was pretty thrilled.
Well friends, I've gotta say — there were a lot of really solid nominees this year. Alas, Green Book ended up taking the win for Best Picture, and even though Twitter can't agree on whether it was the right call, it seems like there's no turning back. The 2019 Oscars are over, and Green Book is your 2019 Best Picture winner. Here's to seeing what comes to theaters for 2020!