What to Know About the Controversy Surrounding the Movie Green Book
Depending on who you ask, Green Book is either the pinnacle of movie magic or a whitewashing sham.
The film, which took home the prize for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards, as well as honors for Mahershala Ali as Best Supporting Actor and Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly for Best Original Screenplay, depicts the burgeoning friendship between a black classical pianist and his ItalianAmerican driver as they travel the 1960s segregated South on a concert tour. But while Green Book was an awards frontrunner all season, its road to Oscar night was riddled with missteps and controversies over its authenticity and racial politics.
Green Book is about the relationship between two real-life people: Donald Shirley and Tony “Lip” Vallelonga. Shirley was born in 1927 and grew up in a well-off black family in Florida, where he emerged as a classical piano prodigy: he possessed virtuosic technique and a firm grasp of both classical and pop repertoire. He went on to perform regularly at Carnegie Hall— right below his regal apartment—and work with many prestigious orchestras, like the Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. But at a time when prominent black classical musicians were few and far between due to racist power structures, he never secured a spot in the upper echelons of the classical world. (African Americans still only make up 1.8 percent of musicians playing in orchestras nationwide, according to a recent study.)
Vallelonga was born in 1930 to working-class Italian parents and grew up in the Bronx. As an adult he worked as a bouncer, a maître d’ and a chauffeur, and he was hired in 1962 to drive Shirley on a concert tour through the Jim Crow South. The mismatched pair spent one and a half years together on the road — though it’s condensed to just a couple of months in the film — wriggling out of perilous situations and learning about each other’s worlds. Vallelonga would later become an actor and land a recurring role on The Sopranos.
In the 1980s, Vallelonga’s son, Nick, approached his father and Shirley about making a movie about their friendship. For reasons that are now contested, Shirley rebuffed these requests at the time. […]
(Source: from http://time.com/5527806/green-book-movie-controversy/)
The expression “as well as” in “as well as honors for Mahershala Ali as Best Supporting Actor and Nick Vallelonga” indicates
- A comparison
- B opposition
- C condition
- D emphasis
- E addition