"Green Book," Mortensen

take home film awards

The feel-good road-trip drama "Green Book" was named the best film of the year, and its star, Viggo Mortensen, best actor, by the National Board of Review in one of the first in a parade of awards season honors.

The NBR awards, announced Tuesday in New York, gave the Oscar hopes of Universal's "Green Book" a jolt. The film, directed by Peter Farrelly, was declared an Oscar favorite after taking the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

But in two weeks of release, it has struggled to latch on at the box office, and some critics have called its portrayal of race relations old-fashioned. It stars Mahershala Ali as classical pianist Don Shirley, who tours the Deep South in 1962 with a racist Italian-American driver played by Mortensen.

Bradley Cooper's lauded remake "A Star Is Born" also took several top awards, including best director for Cooper, best actress for Lady Gaga and best supporting actor for Sam Elliott.

 

 

Host of "Bizarre Foods"

apologizes for comments

"Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern is apologizing for his comments about Chinese restaurants after he was criticized as culturally insensitive.

Zimmern just opened his own Chinese restaurant, Lucky Cricket, in Minnesota.

Last week, Fast Company posted an interview from the summer in which Zimmern says he was saving the souls of people who dine at "[expletive] restaurants masquerading as Chinese food" in the Midwest.

The Eater said his remarks represented cultural elitism. An op-ed in The Washington Post called them insulting.

In a statement to the Star Tribune, Zimmern admits his comments sounded arrogant. He took responsibility and attempted to clarify, saying many diners in the Twin Cities area eat Chinese food in malls, and he hopes to expose them to the "greatness of Chinese and Chinese-American cuisines."