Movie Title: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Rating: R, 115 minutes
In a Nutshell: From the minute Francis McDormand appears on the screen and starts chewing her fingernails in contemplation, you know you’re seeing an award-winning performance.
To date, she has won Best Actress in a dramatic role by the Golden Globes, surely with an Oscar nod to follow.
Director Martin McDonagh has also been nominated for a Golden Globe and the movie won Best Picture. This movie is that well done. The movie balances dark humor with tenderness, racism, revenge, and rage, sometimes all in the same scene.
What makes this movie especially impressive to me is its unpredictability. I see a LOT of movies and can usually guess what’s going to happen. Not with this film. Characters made surprising choices and scenes unfolded in ways I never would have imagined. For me, that’s a delight and why I love movies so much.
Tips for parents:
TONS of profanity. Soooo many F-bombs.
Use of the “N” word and lots of other racial slurs.
Disrespectful talk of homosexuality and bullying
Talk of civil rights
Talk of rape and abuse
Robbie talks so disrespectfully to his mom all the time and uses extremely ugly language about her.
Someone commits suicide.
Lowest body count (2) in a Martin McDonagh film.
Very strong, tough female lead. She basically stands up alone for what she believes against an entire town.
Life, death, and everything in between
Parenting decisions, family
Choices and consequences
“Hate never solved nothing.” – Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson)
“Anger begets greater anger.” – ex husband
Things I liked:
Francis McDormand is amazing as always. She thought she was too old for the role and initially declined, but her husband said, “Shut up and do it.”
Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are extremely entertaining, as always, and the entire cast knocks it out of the park. Sam Rockwell just won a deserved Best Supporting Actor for his role.
While the movie title suggests that it was filmed in Ebbing, Missouri, the location was actually Sylva, North Caroline, where my mother was born! I read that the production staff welcomed the locals in Sylva to watch the filming. After a scene was shot, the actors would sign autographs. Woody Harrelson gave an impromptu guitar performance.
Pay attention to books people read and TV shows that people watch. They actually have meaning to what the characters’ motivations are. I love that
Many of the characters have arc, which is what you want to see in a movie. There is personal growth and understanding, which gives the film depth and meaning.
I first noticed Zeljko Ivanek in the popular TV show Madam Secretary: Season 1 and have liked him ever since.
Things I didn’t like:
I couldn’t quite figure out what kind of accent Abbie Cornish was going for.
The excessive profanity is tiresome (for me), although appropriate for the film.
The ignorant racism towards African Americans and bullying of a gay man is jolting.
“I don’t know what the compensation scheme is before you throw a guy out a window, Ma. I guess I shoulda looked into that beforehand. I should Google it.” – Officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell)
“Do you think I care about dentists? Nobody cares about dentists.” – Sheriff Bill Wiloughby (Woody Harrelson)
“You aren’t trying to get me to believe in reincarnation or something are you, cuz you’re pretty, but you ain’t her.” – Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand)