(2018) (Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Dramedy: An unrefined white nightclub bouncer takes a job driving a classically trained black pianist from one tour date to another through the deep South of the early 1960s.
- It's 1962 and Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (VIGGO MORTENSEN) is a bouncer at a swanky nightclub in New York. When that establishment closes for several months, Tony finds himself in the need of work and lucks out when he gets an unusual offer for an unusual job. It seems that classically trained concert pianist Don Shirley (MAHERSHALA ALI) needs a chauffeur and security guard and Tony's name was given to him as his best option.
The only issue is that Tony has some racist tendencies, Don is black, and the tour will take them through the deep South where racism-based incidents are more than likely to occur. Tony initially turns down the job, but with the pay being good and the work not going to be that hard, he finally agrees.
After saying goodbye to his wife, Dolores (LINDA CARDELLINI), and their kids, Tony hits the road with Don. They first head west through Pennsylvania and Ohio before turning left and heading south for various concerts and private gigs Don performs with the rest of The Don Shirley Trio, cellist Oleg (DIMITER MARINOV) and bassist George (MIKE HATTON).
At first, Don, who's very refined and proper and Tony, who's decidedly less so and can't stop talking or eating, are truly an odd couple pairing, both to themselves and to anyone who sees the white guy driving the black man through the deep South. But as the weeks go on and the two men get to know each other better, they forge an unlikely but deep friendship while facing rampant racism most everywhere they go.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Older teens might, especially if they're fans of anyone in the cast or if the true-life story sounds enticing to them.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic content, language including racial epithets, smoking, some violence and suggestive material.
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