In 1962, Bronx-born, Italian-American bouncer Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Mortensen) is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class black pianist from New York City on a two month concert tour. Personalities clash as the two men take to the road. But as they confront prejudice and segregation in the American South, they are forced to hang together and find common ground.
Inspired by a true story, Farrelly leans on two incredible lead performances to raise this odd couple road movie to unexpected heights of poignancy and warmth. Ali took home his second Oscar for this, and Mortensen added to his collection of nominations; their chemistry jumps off the screen. A deft balance of comedy and drama in its winning script (by Vallelonga’s son Nick) brought this inspiring crowd pleaser a Best Picture Academy Award.