Remember two years ago when La La Land was announced as Best Picture and then there was a correction and Moonlight won and we all cheered for Mahershala Ali? We wanted the opposite of that to happen at Sunday’s Oscars. Instead, Ali (still love him, just not his film) and Green Book took home the trophy for Best Picture and has officially taken over for Crash as the worst Best Picture winner in years.
All bits aside Crash is a better movie than Green Book and Crash is freaking terrible
— Craig Cackowski (@Cackowski) February 25, 2019
Green Book isn’t a terrible movie. Ali won Best Supporting Actor for playing musician Dr. Don Shirley, an award that was well-deserved, and his co-stars Viggo Mortensen and Linda Cardellini gave career-defining performances. If you didn’t think too much about Green Book it was easy to leave the theatre feeling a little bit better than when you walked in. But only the smallest amount of analyzing will reveal the drama set in 1962 as a white saviour film, one that was called completely inaccurate by the Shirley family.
When the family of Don Shirley, Mahershala Ali’s character in The Green Book, disavows the movie and says it’s filled with a “symphony” of “hurtful lies.” I mean, maybe we should all step back for a second and pay attention. Just saying. Oh well, glad racism is solved. #Oscars
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) February 25, 2019
Seth Meyers‘ latest sketch “White Savior” sums up all the issues with Green Book into a neat little clip. And yeah, we see the irony in this video being made by a white man, but so does Meyers.
Green Book has been plagued with controversies throughout its press tour. There was the use of and apology for the n-word by Viggo Mortensen at a press screening. There were instances of sexual misconduct by director Peter Farrelly and past instances of Islamaphobia by writer Nick Vallelonga, whose father Tony was the character played by Mortensen.
Still, Green Book had enough feel-good moments to beat a year of impressive Best Picture nominees.
There was the remake of A Star Is Born that featured an incredible soundtrack and touched on mental health. The absurdly unique and brilliant The Favourite. The beautifully honest and raw Roma. The stunning superhero flick Black Panther. The other race-related biopic that actually had the audacity to show a black person saving themself, aka BlacKkKlansman.
The negative reaction to Green Book winning Best Picture was trending before the envelope was fully opened.
My favorite part of Green Book was when I realized I could watch literally any other movie.
— Solomon Georgio (@solomongeorgio) February 25, 2019
he really said mostly viggo and not…mahershala ali…who played dr. shirley…
— discourse wallah (@krutika) February 25, 2019
Some Academy folks would’ve voted for GREEN BOOK three times if they could’ve
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) February 25, 2019
True Detective 4 will be about figuring out why Green Book won Best Picture.
— Young Neil (@cinquantecent) February 25, 2019
It appears that even people in the Dolby Theatre were upset over Green Book’s win, with director Spike Lee storming out.
Of course, there’s also the notion that the category as a whole is flawed.
Real question: When was the last time the year’s best movie actually won Best Picture?
— Scott Meslow (@scottmeslow) February 25, 2019
So, how do we wash out the bad taste of Green Book’s win? Start with director Ava Duvernay sharing the actual history of the very real and very important history of The Green Book.
For anyone who may be interested in what the Green Book actually was, here is a link to more information about this act of resistance and source of love and survival for many African-Americans. It started with Victor Hugo Green. #OSCARS https://t.co/gdFp1mekub pic.twitter.com/9WkeInv2fd
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 25, 2019
The best way to not repeat history is to learn history.