2018 / USA / 130 min. / Colour
Director: Peter Farrelly
Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov
Peter Farrelly’s engaging biographical comedy-drama won the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 2019 Oscars. Set in 1962, the film was inspired by the true story of a tour across the Deep South by African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Ali) and his driver and bodyguard, the Italian-American bouncer Frank Vallelonga (Mortensen). Set against the Southern racism of the 1960s, what is essentially a buddy road movie gains an emotional depth that is generally absent from Farrelly’s routine offerings. The growing relationship between the uncouth Vallelonga and the altogether more sophisticated Shirley is familiar in its generalities but distinctive in its specifics. Its an excellent opportunity to enjoy a great film that passed many a multiplex by.