American comedy-drama “Green Book” has emerged as a must-see for movie lovers as its buzz continues to grow after taking home three awards at the 76th Golden Globes.
For Chinese moviegoers, the good news is that they will not wait too long to see the movie on domestic big screens.
The award-winning film is set to open in theaters across the country this year, though the exact release date has yet to be announced, according to China’s Alibaba Pictures, one of its producers.
True-to-life story to great acclaim
According to Zhang Wei, president of Alibaba Pictures, the film “Green Book” embraces a warm topic, attractive storyline and unique artistic expression, which indeed drove them to support the project.
“It is such an amazing picture, which includes humorous dialogues, excellent acting performance, and touching friendship,” said Zhang. “We are so honored to participate in the course of co-production, as well as to introduce it to the Chinese audience.”
Based on actual events, “Green Book” depicts a heartwarming story that surrounds “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” a guide for African-Americans on how to make a safe tour by introducing the hotels and restaurants friendly to them.
Set in the southern U.S. in the 1960s, the film follows a road trip between African-American classical pianist Don Shirley, portrayed by Mahershala Ali, and his Italian-American driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, who Viggo Mortensen plays, through the racially segregated region.
The buddy film, which emotionally recounts a “true friendship” while essentially delineating a portrait of 1960s America that hits home, has been critically acclaimed since its debut.
Directed by comedy veteran Peter Farrelly, the interracial film made its world bow at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September and soon emerged as the most striking entry.
The TIFF hit brought many in the theaters to their feet, taking home the top prize of the People’s Choice Award in Toronto. It continues to receive applause and collect awards after its U.S. theatrical release on November 23.
A few days later, the National Board of Review (NBR) announced their 2018 honorees, dubbing it as “Best Film of the Year,” and the American Film Institute then ranked it among their top 10 films of 2018.
Annie Schulhof, president of the NBR, spoke highly of the film they honored, noting that “it is a warm and heartfelt look at a remarkable friendship, brought to the screen at a moment where its story of love, compassion, and shared humanity deeply resonates.”
From awards season buzz to Chinese theater hits
At this year’s Golden Globe Awards, the biopic film shined again as the major winner, bagging three trophies out of five nominations including Best Film Comedy or Musical, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Ali.
Undoubtedly, the recent victory adds some more forward momentum for the crowd-pleasing piece in the following race.
Meanwhile, it also gave the production companies more confidence to propel the film’s launch plan in the Middle Kingdom, where early online reviews are extremely positive.
Currently, “Green Book” has garnered a remarkable score of 9.1 out of 10 points on Douban.com, China’s popular film rating and review site, where it is also shown to be higher rated than 99 percent of comedy-dramas and 98 percent of features.
Aside from “Green Book,” Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s romance revival “A Star Is Born,” which has released an official Chinese-language teaser, is very likely to make its Chinese mainland debut in the near future.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” winner of the Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, hit Chinese theaters last month and has raked in 421 million yuan (62.4 million U.S. dollars) to date.
More good news can be expected during and after this year’s awards season, which will come to an end with the Oscars next month.
Last year, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” winner of two Oscars and four Golden Globes, and “The Shape of Water,” winner of four Academy Awards, both made their Chinese mainland premieres in March.
Following the Oscars fever, the former grossed 64.9 million yuan (9.6 million U.S. dollars) and the later grabbed 105.4 million yuan (15.6 million U.S. dollars) – both better-than-expected box office earnings.