Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Three Billboards ( Spoilers)


I first became a fan of Frances McDormand after I saw her play wily old police officer Marge Gundersun in the Cohen Brothers' black comedy Fargo back in the mid nineties. In that movie and in most thereafter she has dominated the screen with a quiet authority so it won't surprise anyone that  she brings that raw acting power to her performance of a grieving mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. 
She is simply wonderful.
Like Fargo, Billboards is a dark and at times violent black comedy that walks the fine line from potentially being rather a bleak movie to being a surprising uplifting and hopeful one. I say surprising  because it is essentially the study how the rape and murder of a teenage girl affects a small family and most importantly her feisty battling mother who cannot cope with the fact that her daughter's killers have escaped detection by the local small town police department.
McDormand plays Mildred, the boiler suited, bandana wearing mother who takes it on herself to rent three local billboards in order to highlight what she thinks is the lack of action of the local Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). 
This drastic action has a knock on effect within the Small Town of Ebbing, as with tensions running high because of the open secret that the much loved Willoughby is in fact dying, Mildred has to fight the unstable and stupid deputy Dixon ( the excellent Sam Rockwell) an un supportive ex husband and the sympathetic yet powerless Willoughby in her crusade to find the truth.

The film plays fast and loose with reality at times, in a very similar way that old fashioned Westerns do to modern eyes and I think this is a conscious decision by Brit director/ writer Martin McDonough  who obviously has something to say about blue collar America where institutionalised racism, homophobia and small thinking can often rule the day.
Wisely McDonough chooses the main thrust of the story to be that of grief and redemption rather than focus on a social commentary and this is where McDormand comes into her own .
Reminding me of that wartime poster of the all-American factory worker , she takes on all comers with a potty mouth and the fierceness of a cornered lioness . Rarely smiling but possessing a wry humour McDormand's character wavers between being sympathetic one minute and truly monstrous the next and it is this ambiguity that makes the film so interesting.
9/10

38 comments:

  1. Excellent review, I enjoyed this film too

    ReplyDelete
  2. A nice, well written review John.

    ReplyDelete
  3. On our list to see. Thanks John for the excellent review!
    You could be writing reviews for a publication in your 'spare' time!! (I know you already are here)

    ReplyDelete
  4. McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell all got Oscar nods for their performances which says a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. McDormand and Rockwell should win me thinks

      Delete
  5. It's sure to end up as one of THE films of the year (2018, that is).
    Frances McDormand should get the Women's Main Oscar, which she'll deserve, though I'd like to see Sam Rockwell get one too, as Best Supporter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rockwell was excellent I agree Harrelson was impressive too.
      Dinklage was underused

      Delete
    2. Ps what was the continuity problems Raymondo?

      Delete
    3. I've just tried to answer your question, JayGee, where you've asked the same thing on my own blog.

      Delete
  6. I just wrote about it too. Enjoyed your review and enjoyed the film to the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean I loved it all .

      Delete
    2. It was rather good wasn't it?

      Delete
    3. It was pretty good.

      Delete
  7. I will brave all the sick flu people to see this movie. It is on my list. I will wait till the movie is almost gone so fewer people.

    Great review.
    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the review. We loved The Post too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You didn't fly across the country and go with Rachel did you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw it yesterday weave but did almost go again today

      Delete
  10. I loved it too.

    A very good review, fair and well balanced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd vote for Mcdormund if she ran for president

      Delete
    2. Me too ... that would leave Trump free to star in The Simpsons 😊

      Delete
  11. That is a great review. Francis McDormand often (always) plays these roles and when I saw her accepting the Golden Globes award for this movie a few weeks ago, I thought that Frances is truly a lot like the parts she plays. Strong lady, fierce actress. She needs no makeup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She'd make a good president

      Delete
  12. Your review was excellent. I have always loved Frances and what a great actor she is. I have seen The Shape of Water and really really enjoyed it. It is a good year for movies.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The shape of water will do well at the oscars as will McDormund hopefully. However....women will also do well generally I feel which is a shame if they get voted in on gender rather than talent

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. White Men have been doing that forever.

      Delete
    2. Very true my friend x

      Delete
  14. You write a review quite wonderfully! Or maybe we should give some credit to the furry co-writer?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Seems you can always count on mary.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a wonderful film you can't go wrong with any film that has Francis McDormand in it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pondering upon "Three Billboards", I think that one of its strengths is the suggestion that life is not all good or bad, black or white and in the end we have to move on.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Scathing review in the Independent yesterday!Thanks for yours, it was helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was so-so on seeing this, but now I feel I must.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow !!! absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such useful information.

    ดูหนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete
  21. Enjoy with video model sexy that get top in the world

    Cup Z Sexy Girl

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x