Peter Farrelly directs Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali and Linda Cardellini in this feelgood comedy about an Italian American bouncer and a black concert pianist who travel the Deep South on a concert tour together.
And the Winner is… A really enjoyable film. One with flawed yet loveable characters played by fine movie stars. One with witty dialogue and broad laugh out loud gags. One that explores race relations on a micro level and comes up with the not exactly distasteful theory that prejudice can be broken down by interaction, integration and respect. You cannot prescribe hate out of people’s hearts but you can overcome it by mutual cooperation. Share time and space and culture with each other that bullshit falls away, humanity wins. Of course, for a comedy film of simple values and an upbeat outlook to win Best Picture puts it under a political scrutiny it will struggle with. 48 hours later and this finely made, accessible movie is already a whipping boy. It isn’t the best film of the year, nor the even the best nominated Oscar whore, but it is a career high point for Farrelly, Ali and Cardinelli, classically composed and sharply fun. Not undeserving of its Oscar yet unfortunately it will now be included in the same list as Crash and A Beautiful Mind of Academy Award Aberrations. In all honesty, I think Moonlight fits more comfortably into that infamous subcategory.