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A ma­jor fac­tor in this year’s film-award sea­son – thanks in part to its five Os­car nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing best pic­ture, which it won – this fact-in­spired com­edy-drama’s ti­tle item helps two trav­el­ing com­pan­ions nav­i­gate racially sen­si­tive ter­ri­tory, quite lit­er­ally, in the early 1960s. Cel­e­brated clas­si­cal and jazz pi­anist Don Shirley (Ma­her­shala Ali, who earned his sec­ond Os­car here) gets a chauf­feur and more in bouncer “Tony Lip” (Viggo Mortensen), hired to drive him to per­for­mances through the Amer­i­can South … at a time when “tol­er­ance” wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily the op­er­a­tive word. Both stars are su­perb, and Linda Cardellini also is in di­rec­tor and co-writer Peter Far­relly’s cast. The real Tony’s son, Nick Val­le­longa, also was one of the writ­ers who gained an Os­car for best orig­i­nal screen­play. DVD ex­tras: three “mak­ing-of” doc­u­men­taries. **** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On De­mand)

Ma­her­shala Ali

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