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Oscars 2019: Racial discrimination drama Green Book wins Best Picture in a major upset

Oscars 2019: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali’s Green Book won the Best Picture award.

hollywood Updated: Feb 25, 2019 14:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Oscars 2019,Green Book,Best Picture
Viggo Mortensen as Tony Vallelonga and Mahershala Ali as Dr. Donald Shirley in Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly.

Green Book, Universal Pictures’ film about race relations in the US South in the early 1960s, was crowned best picture of 2018 at the 91st Academy Awards, an upset win that dashed Netflix’s hopes that Roma would garner the streaming giant’s first top Oscar.

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The film is based on a true story of friendship and relationship between working class Italian-American bouncer, who becomes a driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960’s American South. Mahershala Ali plays the role of jazz pianist Don Shirley in the Peter Farrelly-directed biographical drama. It endured its fair share of criticism and controversy, including over whether it is the latest in a stream of “white savior” movies, but the stars and the film’s team have vigorously defended it.

Peter Farrelly and Viggo Mortensen smile at one another after Green Book won the Best Picture award. ( REUTERS )
Peter Farrelly accepts the Best Picture award for Green Book. ( REUTERS )

Mahershala won the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in the film. He took the stage, where he first thanked the man he portrayed, saying, “Trying to capture Dr. Shirley’s essence pushed me to my ends, which is a reflection of the person that he was and the life that he lived, and I thank him.”

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He went on to thank his co-star Viggo Mortensen, along with Farrelly, before dedicating the award to his grandmother, who “has been in my ear my entire life telling me, if at first I don’t succeed, try try again”.

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First Published: Feb 25, 2019 10:12 IST