Everybody Is Confused About Why 'Green Book' Won the Oscar for Best Picture

BY Sarah MurphyPublished Feb 25, 2019

In one of last night's (February 24) most shocking Academy Awards moments, Green Book ended up winning the trophy for Best Picture.
The film tells the story of renowned African-American musician Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali) as he travels around the Deep South in 1962 with Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (played by Viggo Mortensen) serving as his driver who becomes a close friend. The title refers to a guide that highlighted businesses like motels and restaurants that would serve black customers in the age of segregation.
Despite positive reviews for Ali's performance (which won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar), the film has been criticized for portraying a whitewashed version of actual events. Shirley's family condemned the film upon release, arguing that Mortensen's character was only ever an employee and not a friend.
Vallelonga's son Nick wrote the screenplay, and claimed that Shirley himself had asked that only he and Vallelonga were consulted about the events on the trip, as they were the only ones on it.
Many of the original complaints about the movie have been dredged up again in light of the film's Best Picture win.
Spike Lee even attempted to storm out of the ceremony last night, later telling reporters, "The ref made a bad call."
In a post-show press conference, he also joked, "Every time somebody's driving somebody, I lose. But they changed the seating arrangement." (Driving Miss Daisy won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1989, the same year Do the Right Thing would have been eligible.)
Plenty of others have weighed in online. See some of the reaction from Twitter below.

Latest Coverage