Jordan Williams’s review published on Letterboxd:
The performances by Ali and Mortensen are what make the movie memorable, but aren’t enough to make the film deserving of best picture. A white savior film in 2018 is unnecessary and implies that America is in the same race-relations situation as we were in 1968 when a similar themed white-savior film In the Heat of the Night came out. Exploring race relations in 2018 should be much more complex with a message that doesn’t use the story of a white man confronting his own racism.
The overwhelming white savior complex could have been avoided by focusing more on the perspective and motivations of Dr: Shirley than Tony. Green Book does a good job conveying the concept author Ibram X Kendi calls the “extraordinary negro”, where a black person with a gift, talent, or “whiteness” are regarded by whites as an exception instead of the norm. By “allowing” Dr. Shirley to play in their venues and entertain them, whites can deny their racism while at the same time admitting their prejudice by denying him access to bathrooms, restaurants, hotels, and businesses. In this case, the movie works in portraying the ugliness of the racist phenomenons and relations of the 1960s when it focuses on Dr. Shirley’s point of view.
Overall, Green Book isn’t revolutionary enough to have won Best Picture. It repeats themes already explored by past film that’s were deemed revolutionary in their own times. I wish Green Book had accomplished its hope of shedding light in new perspectives on race relations in America.