"We made this film with love and we made it with tenderness and we made it with respect," producer Jim Burke said while accepting the Best Picture statue

By Ale Russian
February 24, 2019 11:45 PM
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Green Book is going home golden.

In a surprise victory at the very end of Sunday night’s Oscars, the true-life drama picked up the Best Picture trophy after starting awards season as one of the favorites at the Toronto International Film Festival in September — and then facing a series of controversies, including criticism from the family of one of its subjects.

Star Mahershala Ali also took home Best Supporting Actor during the ceremony and the film won for Best Original Screenplay, though Ali’s costar Viggo Mortensen lost out on Best Actor to Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) earlier in the show.

“We made this film with love and we made it with tenderness and we made it with respect,” producer Jim Burke said while accepting the Best Picture statue at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. “And it was all done under the direction of Pete Farrelly.”

The film centers on Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class African-American pianist who embarked on a concert tour of the Deep South in 1962 along with his driver and bodyguard, Tony Lip (played by Mortensen).

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty
Ali and Mortensen in Green Book.
| Credit: Patti Perret/Universal

Green Book‘s win comes after months of debate dissension surrounding the film.

Mortensen, 60, used the n-word during the movie’s press tour. Months after he apologized, director Farrelly apologized for having exposed himself years ago while on the set of his 1998 romantic comedy There’s Something About Mary.

Dr. Shirley’s family criticized the movie, with his brother Maurice calling it a “symphony of lies.”

RELATED VIDEO: See How Viggo Mortensen Transformed into His Oscar-Nominated Role of Tony Lip in Green Book

Green Book beat out Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Vice, Roma and A Star Is Born.

Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody and Roma, all of which took home multiple prizes at the Oscars, were seen as top contenders for Best Picture before Green Book‘s upset.

The 91st Academy Awards were broadcasted live from Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 24.