The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars are arguably the most sought-after awards on the Hollywood calendar. The 91st edition is nearing, fans around the world have started making predictions about who they think will sweep the board. As a lead up to the most anticipated night in entertainment, Sterkenikor invited media to experience the #OskarBuzz
with an exclusive screening of Greenbox at its head office in Johannesburg – ahead of the release this Friday.
I have obviously watched a lot of movies before, I hold a qualification in television production and journalism but that’s as far as my prowess goes when it comes to that field. I do enjoy a beautiful story though and Mahershala Ali and Christian Bale did an incredible job of telling one.
Greenbox, which is based on a true story boasts a few Oscar nominations. It is a cheering film about two men, black and white who come together to defy all odds in an era of segregation.
If I am being entirely honest, the beginning of the movie didn’t grab my attention, I kept checking my Twitter timeline in an attempt to entertain myself and to occasionally express how incredibly bored I was. But when I eventually got into it, I was encapsulated by Mahershala’s performance, a beautiful justification of his Best Supporting Actor nomination.
His character Don is an African American world-class pianist. A regal but troubled man who hides his loneliness well – if there was any escaping this, it was through his work. He meets his soon to be life-long friend Tony just in time for his tour and asks him to be his personal driver. They get on almost immediately after the meet, completely unaware of what lies ahead.
Tony is kind and loyal, he loves his wife Dolores dearly and this is something we see throughout the movie, he finds joy in penning down letters to her detailing his journey with Don. Prior to the tour, Don works as a bouncer in the Bronx.
Although Tony is white, he possesses exhaustive knowledge of the ‘ghetto’ unlike Don, who one would define as a white man trapped in a black man’s body.
Don struggles to find his place in the world, while he is welcomed into prestigious events to play the piano and entertain the rich, he faces violent racism. He feels alienated by the black community but also knows that hell would break loose before the white community offers him a sit at the table. There is an alarming scene in the movie where he had to drive back to his hotel room amid a performance after they wouldn’t let him use the same restroom as white people. Moreover, he must deal with the fact that he is gay in a backward world that won’t accept the colour of his skin let alone his sexuality.
Tony helps him tackle these issues, supports him, and teaches him the importance of friendship. There is a direct intimate connection between Tony and Don and it is beautiful to witness. I would definitely watch Greenbook again.