Tag Archives: Sam Rockwell

Cinema Dispatch: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and all the images you see in this review are owned by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Directed by Martin McDonagh

To tell you the truth, I never really liked In Bruges.  It was fine I guess, but I never found it all that compelling and the ending is just a contrived mess that’s about as bad as sixty percent of the twists Shyamalan has come up with.  And yet, there are a lot of people out there that like that movie as well as McDonagh’s other work, so naturally the buzz around this film was huge right off the bat which only grew once the trailers started coming out and we got to see some of Frances McDormand’s acting.  At the very least, it manages to grab your attention with its unorthodox title (A COMMA!?) and even more unorthodox premise that will hopefully take advantage of the ideas that seem baked right into this material.  Does this manage to live up to the hype that its beloved director and solid marketing campaign has built up for it, or will this end up a huge stumble for everyone involved?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) driving down the same road she’s driven down for years and years; heading home after a long day at work and trying hard to deal with the grief over her daughter’s death.  Not just any death too!  She was raped, murdered, and burnt to a crisp, so forgetting about that is proving to be a bit difficult, especially since the cops never found the guy who did it.  That’s when Mildred comes up with an idea.  On this road she’s traveled many times before are three billboards that no one has used in decades, so she decides to purchase the ad space and put up signs reminding the denizens of this small town that the police still haven’t caught the murderer.  Now obviously this ruffles some feathers down at the station, particularly Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell) who’s about as dumb and racist of a cop that you’d expect from a story like this and to a much lesser extent Sherriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) who’s leading the stalled investigation and is the primary target of Mildred’s ire.  Things begin to get much more heated around town as several people begin to question (and stupidly try to attack) Mildred and her decision to put this spotlight on something that everyone would rather not think about and leave up to the cops.  Mildred is having NONE of this and starts kicking ass and taking names at everyone who looks at her sideways which only escalates tensions further in this ticking time bomb of a standoff with her on one side and the rest of the world on the other.  Will Mildred finally get justice for the death of her daughter whose killer roams free while the police do nothing?  Just how far will Mildred go in order to get what she wants, and will she lose touch between what can and cannot be justified in her righteous quest?  Just how much saltier will Frances McDormand get in this role before she wins that Oscar gold!?

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“I’d like to tell the Academy that they can kindly fuck off and die, even if I win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.  No wait, ESPECIALLY if I win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.”

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