Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

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I thought this film was fantastic. My only complaint was all the foul language. Way over the top.

Jon
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This was a shameless attempt to get an Oscar for Frances McDormand.

~Doc[/b]
You sy that like it was a bad thing, Doc?



This was a shameless attempt to get an Oscar for Gary Oldman*. I'm sure everyone in Hollywood understood that, but they still voted him* in for the nomination, along with the picture itself. And Oldman* certainly can't be blamed for taking a shot at the big O. He's* one of the very best in the business, and has not only paid his* dues, but has likely been passed over for top performances in previous years.

~Cyn
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One of my favourite movie by Martin McDonagh. Love to see it again and again.



You sy that like it was a bad thing, Doc?
Well, yes and no. As I mentioned, McDormand is without question an Oscar-worthy talent, and has been for many years, more so than many actors who have won who have had lesser performances and impressive bodies of work. She's certainly entitled to take a shot at an Oscar.

But the construction of the screenplay was pointedly aimed at featuring most all of the currently fashionable PC causes-- most of which have become trite due to sheer and systematic incessant overuse. Right off the bat we have the raped and murdered girl. What is more featured in the news today, than the hypocrites in Hollywood and the press who line up to pile on the instant outrage and righteous wrath to anyone famous who's been dug up to be accused.

Then we have the "empowered woman" who faces down the law and the town. Next is the trite racist sheriff's deputy brought in for its 1129th iteration, who gets his initial comeuppance from the black replacement sheriff who has obviously recently stepped down as a revered judge on an appellate bench to take this job. And finally, instead of a suffering gay or trans character, we get a dwarf, who reminds us that dwarfs are actually people.....with feelings. Gawd.

McDormand's character is portrayed as the female Rocky Balboa of Ebbing, Missouri. But the actual facts of the story simply don't support it. Still, as long as viewers remain emotionally caught up in the Joan of Arc scenario, then the movie will be very gratifying. However in my view, any non technical awards that may be won by this film will be heavily influenced by its obvious PC elements. These elements featured in the screenplay are what caused me to believe it to be shameless.

Now, how many Oscars do you think that the film deserves?

~Doc



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Ummm, I think Fran's part in the film was probably well over before Weinstein hit the airwaves, Doc.

Also, do you really think the Director/Writer or any of the 8 male producers decided to gamble money just on getting Fran a statue which she thinks is no more important than holding open her toilet door? I think it's a bit of a stretch you saying it's Oscar bait for her; did McDonagh even say he had written it specifically for her? And I certainly cant see her begging them to do it for her anyway. She's probably the least affected actor in hollywood and couldnt give a caca.



I'm pretty sure they just poached 8 of the best character actors from HBO shows (Oz, Wire, True Detective, Olive Kitterige, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, Big Love) and the people who McDonagh liked working with.



Well, yes and no. As I mentioned, McDormand is without question an Oscar-worthy talent, and has been for many years, more so than many actors who have won who have had lesser performances and impressive bodies of work. She's certainly entitled to take a shot at an Oscar.

But the construction of the screenplay was pointedly aimed at featuring most all of the currently fashionable PC causes-- most of which have become trite due to sheer and systematic incessant overuse. Right off the bat we have the raped and murdered girl. What is more featured in the news today, than the hypocrites in Hollywood and the press who line up to pile on the instant outrage and righteous wrath to anyone famous who's been dug up to be accused.

Then we have the "empowered woman" who faces down the law and the town. Next is the trite racist sheriff's deputy brought in for its 1129th iteration, who gets his initial comeuppance from the black replacement sheriff who has obviously recently stepped down as a revered judge on an appellate bench to take this job. And finally, instead of a suffering gay or trans character, we get a dwarf, who reminds us that dwarfs are actually people.....with feelings. Gawd.

McDormand's character is portrayed as the female Rocky Balboa of Ebbing, Missouri. But the actual facts of the story simply don't support it. Still, as long as viewers remain emotionally caught up in the Joan of Arc scenario, then the movie will be very gratifying. However in my view, any non technical awards that may be won by this film will be heavily influenced by its obvious PC elements. These elements featured in the screenplay are what caused me to believe it to be shameless.

Now, how many Oscars do you think that the film deserves?

~Doc
Don't worry, Doc. It's like yelling through a cloud of fart smoke.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Don't worry, Doc. It's like yelling through a cloud of fart smoke.
Que?



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
I offered a few example of alternate endings in response to your comment about your belief that the ending was appropriate. It's hard to imagine any ending that would have saved this film, although ghosts or aliens might have done the trick.

Here is a reply to my interview from a friend of mine who is a veteran Hollywood film actor. He makes some insightful points: ~Doc

"You were too kind Doc. The worst kind of story telling. Contrived and every moment was made to spark a visceral response from the audience. As if it were the days when people on Acid would find everything amazing as long as it sounded or seen as a loud burst that would attack your senses.
Well I was stoned sober when I sat down to this film and felt like I was being conned by a half wit.
I guess this is what audiences like nowadays. At least Marvel and their super heroes make no pretense about art. They just give you bells and whistles for the fun of it. You know that when you get your ticket.
Now you know as well as I it doesn't take four letter words to make a person tough and mean. It resides in you. Read a Jim Thompson book to learn what mean is. Read David Goodis. These idiots would squeal under a Thompson character. Take for instance the whole concept about the sheriff being a racist. C'mon folks. That does not alleviate Hollywood from being the real asinine racists who put one arm around Oprah and having their maids, gardeners, and valets as their best friends.
The scene in the first 15 minutes where the young black billboard employee spits at the sheriff is highly unbelievable and only serves as a relief for those non racists Hollywood types. Feel better?
The first half hour was full of scenes not needed to convey anguish and hate. It has to come from real conflicts and not politically correct ones.
McDormand trapped herself in to play acting. She doesn't need to. She is good enough and has the power in the business to run the ship right. See her in Olive Kittridge. See her in Fargo. This director and writer conned her into silliness. Ive said enough."
Fine and accurate review -- would love some movie recommendations from this guy.



Ummm, I think Fran's part in the film was probably well over before Weinstein hit the airwaves, Doc.

Also, do you really think the Director/Writer or any of the 8 male producers decided to gamble money just on getting Fran a statue which she thinks is no more important than holding open her toilet door? I think it's a bit of a stretch you saying it's Oscar bait for her; did McDonagh even say he had written it specifically for her? And I certainly cant see her begging them to do it for her anyway. She's probably the least affected actor in hollywood and couldnt give a caca.
The producers presumably were backing the project to make a profit. Any Oscars are going to make their investment more valuable.

But it was McDonagh who wrote the script and directed the film. He stated that he wrote both the McDormand and the Rockwell parts with those two actors in mind. It was McDormand's husband, Joel Coen, who convinced her to take the part.

~Doc



You can't win an argument just by being right!

But it was McDonagh who wrote the script and directed the film. He stated that he wrote both the McDormand and the Rockwell parts with those two actors in mind. It was McDormand's husband, Joel Coen, who convinced her to take the part.

~Doc[/b]
Oh great that's what I was really interested in. Do you have a linky, Doc?

OK I can see why you would think it was a bit of bait on that aspect now you've explained it. Thanks.



Fine and accurate review -- would love some movie recommendations from this guy.
If you're referring to my actor friend, one film he recommended was The Mother, starring the incomparable Anne Reid. At the risk of highjacking my own thread, I wrote a little review of it, but can't recall where, so here it is:

We watched The Mother last night (not to be confused with the reportedly dreadful Mother!). This is not only a superb dramatic production, but it is also another example of a film which would exemplify an "A" rating (for "Adult themes").

Anne Reid was stunning in her role as May, an elderly widow who falls into an affair with her son's friend (Daniel Craig). The friend is also being wooed by May's daughter, which unfolds dramatic suspensefulness as the film plays out.

The acting couldn't have been better, with Reid winning the BAFTA award that year. Cathryn Bradshaw as May's daughter fleshed out a stereophonic portrayal of a distinctly English woman who is fearful that her youth and chance to have children are passing her by. Daniel Craig, in a pre-Bond role, is convincing as an irresponsible man who, despite being married, retains his immaturity and debauching lifestyle.

This is the type of production that the British seem to pride themselves on: first-rate character acting, and comparatively low budgeting. Reportedly the film cost only 1.5 million to make.

~Doc



Oh great that's what I was really interested in. Do you have a linky, Doc?

OK I can see why you would think it was a bit of bait on that aspect now you've explained it. Thanks.
The info I got was from the film's coverage under its title on Wikipedia.

~Doc



You can't win an argument just by being right!
The info I got was from the film's coverage under its title on Wikipedia.

~Doc
Thanks very much. I've only read the rolling stone interview but that's cool. But how do you explain that it's Oscar bait regarding the ' weinstein effect'? He wouldnt have known that was about to all happen when he wrote it.



Every filmmaker has a range of outcomes.

A David Mamet film, for example, will not be a deeply moving character study or a special effects extravaganza, but will be at least moderately entertaining. A Steven Spielberg film, on the other hand, might be anything from Jurassic Park to Schindler's List to Hook. In nearly all cases there is a trade off between range and quality; like a restaurant with an unwieldy menu, breadth often comes at the expense of mastery. I am more likely to enjoy a Mamet film, but a Spielberg film is simultaneously more likely to be adored, or a bore.

Whether a director is constantly reinventing or constantly refining, the question is what they're capable of at their upper bounds. Even the best possible version of a Uwe Boll film will not be good, nevermind Oscar worthy. But the best version of a Quentin Tarantino film is, even while its worst version is borderline schlock.

Tarantino is a good comp for Martin McDonagh, whose fondness for elevated brutality follows the same black-and-blueprint, and who has perhaps realized the upper bounds of his potential in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri.

The recipe here is still McDonagh's (if you vibed with In Bruges, you'll like this) but there's a pinch and a dash of Coen Bros. this time that elevates the offering. The pinch is composer Carter Burwell, veteran of a dozen Coen productions, who brings a welcome habit of pulling the score back and letting perfectly-chosen songs take its place. The dash is Frances McDormand, who's actually hitched to one of the brothers, and whose grief-stricken Mildred feels a little like a version of Fargo's Marge Gunderson after she's lost everything. Both of them got their start with the Coens' Blood Simple, and both marry well to McDonagh's love of absurdity, both comedic and violent. This is the kind of film where people try to wound each other with words, and then go ahead and wound them literally anyway.

There are occasional attempts to interweave race relations and police brutality into the story, but they don't amount to much, and sometimes feel like they're there only because their absence would seem conspicuous. The screenplay has little to say about these issues except that nobody involved is as simple or cartoonish as they seem, which is both true and trite.



Three Billboards is equal parts simple and elaborate. Simple in that the conflicts are clearly defined, and elaborate in that the characters act as if they'll be won by whomever makes the most shocking and dramatic gesture. The narrative is shoved forward by people trying to one-up each others' trauma. If there's anything to criticize here, it's that there is perhaps one plot-propulsive event too many. As good as this film is, it's easy to imagine a more restrained version that's even better. The use of an isolated flashback stands out as a particularly strange choice, out of sync with the rest of the film.

There is, at times, a sense that the heartland is a strange and lawless foreign place, as if the frontier reached the coast and bounced a couple thousand miles inland. This is a crockpot spaghetti western (or Midwestern, if you prefer); there are lingering shots of skies and scowls, of clouds and countenances, and the paradoxical blend of wide open places and towns that ain't big enough for the two of us; the High Noon of low places.

People die before and during this film, are scarred literally and figuratively, and yet the characters push the weight of the world off their shoulders enough to make room for each other to lean on. This is not a film about dying. It's a film about how hard it is to keep on living with everyone else.

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The movie shows the lead characters take the law in their own hands . Not correct . I liked the film but gave three stars out of five in my review ( it's in my review thread ) and not more because of this .



Welcome to the human race...
In fairness, it actually tries to show the problems that come with one taking the law into their own hands and is ultimately ambiguous in its conclusions over whether or not it truly is the "right" thing to do so...yeah.
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The burning question: how come when the billboards get set on fire, the posters burn but the billboards themselves remain intact, despite apparently being made mostly from wood?