Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Did anyone else watch this one? Our theater was pretty full, but it was the smallest one in the Googolplex.

Interesting movie. Nice to go to a move where you don’t know what it is going to do. But it made me angry.

My wife wondered if it was an Oscar-bait performance by Frances McDormand, but I thought it was just a normal good performance. But Hollywood has their own standards.

I’d make a comment on editing. There’s a scene where the main character is talking about a possible assault, and she says “it’s his word against mine, and this time the woman wins.” Later there is a scene where this “this time” makes sense in context, and I think they should have reversed the scenes.

Plus there is one scene I think should have been left off. A person who may or may not be the killer shows up to threaten FM’s character. I think this scene clouds the narrative. It should have been left off.

The DNA says he didn’t do it, but if he didn’t, why is he in Ebbing, when he lives in Idaho and works for the military in “places with sand”, and why was he threatening (and I think actually in the process of attacking) FM? So leaving the scene in raises too many unanswered questions.

Saw this yesterday. I don’t know about angry. But, it is a little frustrating to leave plot points hanging. This, however, I think was intentional. I am resolved that the point is character development rather than closure. All of this works to avoid cliches and to take the viewer by surprise.

I’m most disappointed that it wasn’t funny the way his previous movies were. This isn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t the movie I was expecting.

As to

I think it lends to my theory for your spoiler.I think he was in Ebbing because he heard of the murder and wanted to relive the murder he committed over seas. Threatening FM is part of the thrill and the reliving.

To add to my spoiler comment, the scene makes me think that the government is covering up for him. Wouldn’t be the first time. It’s not really that kind of movie, so that’s why I think the scene should have been removed.

But your take is good, too.

I liked the movie for the fact it isn’t a movie about closure. Life doesn’t always have it, and for the movie to give closure would be wrong. I think the movie’s real point is “violence begets more violence”*. Notice how many of the wronged parties, like Red, didn’t seek revenge.
*did he say “begets”?

:slight_smile:

“I read it on a bookmark. I was reading a book about polio. O is it polo? The one with the horses?”

I loved every single freaking performance in this movie. Not to mention that Sam Rockwell, as horrible as his character is, has layers. Woody Harrelson’s arc gets very dark but includes some humor in it, as well. Especially when he pays for a month’s rental on the billboards just to screw with Mildred. Also appreciated the scene when Red realizes that it’s Dixon in the hospital room with him, and he gets him an orange juice (though I did wonder if he put something in it)

But two things left me scratching my head. When Mildred takes off to Idaho in the station wagon, how is Robbie supposed to get to school? And why was the dentist drilling when he told her he needed to pull a tooth?

Won’t be able to see it until streaming/DVD, but this director is one of my favorites. In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths are classics in my book.

I saw it today and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. The performances by the entire cast are incredible, from Frances McDormand to the small part of the 19-year old girlfriend. It’s so obvious that this movie is written and directed by a theatre artist, because the performances are so much more nuanced, complex and perfect than your usual Hollywood fare.

The themes of forgiveness and redemption are handled with complexity and without cliche. There was a moment where it seemed like we were going to get a Hollywood ending, but thankfully, no, that was subverted.

I won’t post any spoilers, but I urge anyone who knows anything about the craft of acting to see this movie. It’s a master class. Oh, and I also thought it was hilarious, even with all the darkness.

I haven’t seen the movie but it has one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nefD7UOhLCo&t=3s

My take on that was the dentist wanted to maximize the revenge pain, and Mildred shared your* this makes no sense* thought, put two and two together, and acted on it.

I too loved every freaking performance.

Unfortunately for me, I thought that scene meant the screenwriter forgot what he was doing. If Mildred had a bad tooth, it should still be bad for the rest of the movie. The scene seemed like shorthand for “Mildred takes no shit.”

And the guy has no assistant? Mildred should have counter-claimed that he tried to molest her. Though I found the action she did take to be most satisfying!

Well, she had a loose tooth. Not sure if it was “bad” or not based on the dialogue, from what I recollect. While she’s under the effects of the novocaine in the next scene, I for one am glad she was not dealing with tooth pain for the rest of the movie. Seems like a needless distraction.

As for the point of the scene, I think it was a bit more specifically “Mildred will not be intimidated by all of Chief Willoughby’s friends.” From my perspective, she started to suspect that the dentist was up to something when he skipped the novocaine. Then he said it would take a couple of minutes to take effect, but turned around to start in about 20 seconds later, and then as he approaches with the drill, he starts saying something like “I just have to say that I’ve been friends with Chief Willoughby…” and she knows he’s going to cause her extra pain, so she turns the tables. It’s similar to the scene at the school when she kicks those kids in the crotch. They’re trying to intimidate her and she is demonstrating that she will not be intimidated, and in fact will hit back harder if anyone tries.

I think the movie is also trying to show her escalation of violence. These things she’s doing are satisfying to watch, but are NOT OK. Her escalation mirrors Jason’s escalation and it’s not a mistake that

they end up together at the end questioning whether to kill that rapist. They are both starting to come around in the direction of forgiveness/de-escalation, even if they are not quite there yet.

I just saw this, and recommend it to both movie lovers and voters of awards.

(I also noticed that this thread is correctly titled as the title appears in the movie, with the longish preposition uncapitalized. Right from the opening McDonagh is stirring up contention. :smiley: Though I personally disagree with this capitalization style, I also disagree with IMDb or Wikipedia “correcting” it to suit theirs. That’s like correcting the spelling in Inglourious Basterds. Second-guess McDonagh at your own peril, he’s clearly as smart or smarter than we are.)

Yes, of course the movie can be seen as Oscar bait, but like last year’s (eventual) Best Picture winner, it’s a smaller budget picture in Hollywood terms that should win awards just so the massive talent in this movie ends up getting compensated appropriately. Tough to find a weak link in this film as well. Melissa Toth likely won’t be nominated for costume design, but that’s not her fault. :smiley:

With the simplified justice of superhero and revenge movies, the absurdist justice of the latest Yorgos Lanthimos/Efthymis Filippou scripted movie, there are plenty of angry movies about, but this screenplay is surely the most profound. I think the Mildred character would have benefited from being even less likeable. As good as McDormand’s performance was, how does pretty boy Sam Rockwell go another year without being recognized as a great talent? (If he doesn’t get nominated I’m mixing Molotov cocktails on Oscar night!)

In any case, the film’s budget and your movie dollar is well-spent here. The coming wave of writer/directors that can pick and choose cast and crew are going to save Hollywood, but it starts with a screenplay. There’s a complexity to all these characters that resists categorization as good or bad, and I think that’s exactly the point. This quick and hubristic categorization is what’s causing all the violence. Even the character who is the object of the film’s final quest is incredibly complex even though we discover and know for certain very little about them. I spent the whole movie analyzing and judging and looking for the bad guy, only to discover the bad guy might just be me.

I saw this last night and can’t say enough about it. Luckily all you smart cookies have covered a lot of what I want to express :slight_smile:

The excellence of *each *and *every *performance cannot be overstated. Even Abbie Cornish, whom I don’t really care for, did fine with her (merficully) small part. I do question the casting, or at least the choice to have her use her native accent. But that’s a very small not to pick.

I found this film far more intense than I was anticipating. I’d forgotten that Mr. McDonagh’s brand of violence is fairly graphic, but not in a Tarantino / almost comic book way. It’s fairly realistic which makes it far more disturbing. I also thought it would have a bit more humor. That being said, the lighter moments were thrown in at just the right time.

As much praise as I have and as much as I will recommend this to everyone, I probably won’t watch it again, or at least not any time soon. It was just that much of an emotional roller coaster that I felt kind of worn out after it ended (in a good way, but drained nonetheless).

A couple more minor nits:

The part with the suspected rapist was a weird plot choice. I agree with Just Asking Questions that there seems to be an editing issue.

The new (black) Chief that shows up out of nowhere - again, feels like something was cut.

I’ll probably add more later; I’m still digesting it.

Bottom line, if you’re a lover of film, SEE THIS

I saw this last night and can’t say enough about it. Luckily all you smart cookies have covered a lot of what I want to express :slight_smile:

The excellence of *each *and *every *performance cannot be overstated. Even Abbie Cornish, whom I don’t really care for, did fine with her (merficully) small part. I do question the casting, or at least the choice to have her use her native accent. But that’s a very small not to pick.

I found this film far more intense than I was anticipating. I’d forgotten that Mr. McDonagh’s brand of violence is fairly graphic, but not in a Tarantino / almost comic book way. It’s fairly realistic which makes it far more disturbing. I also thought it would have a bit more humor. That being said, the lighter moments were thrown in at just the right time.

As much praise as I have and as much as I will recommend this to everyone, I probably won’t watch it again, or at least not any time soon. It was just that much of an emotional roller coaster that I felt kind of worn out after it ended (in a good way, but drained nonetheless).

A couple more minor nits:

The part with the suspected rapist was a weird plot choice. I agree with Just Asking Questions that there seems to be an editing issue.

The new (black) Chief that shows up out of nowhere - again, feels like something was cut.

I’ll probably add more later; I’m still digesting it.

Bottom line, if you’re a lover of film, SEE THIS

double post

Thank you! I paid attention. :slight_smile:

That is a good summation. I wanted butts kicked! I wanted to go harass Jason’s mother. I wanted Red to hurt Jason in the hospital. I wanted the possible rapist run over by a truck.

And then I realized I was the bad guy, too. There still should be justice, but the begetting has to stop sometime.:slight_smile:

The scene where Mildred’s daughter storms out screaming “I hope I get raped on the way” was very painful. The last conversation between the two was a fight that presaged what happened. Mildred has tons of guilt, deserved or not.

That’s a good way of putting it.

I saw it this weekend. Wanted to see a movie but didn’t know what movie. I had never heard of Three Billboards but I read the synopsis and saw Frances McDormand was in it, thought “Oh, this might be sort of like Fargo.” But it was actually directed by the guy who did In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. I loved In Bruges, I think Seven Psychopaths was ok but maybe tried too hard. So then I thought it might be a revenge movie, and it sort of was. But not really.

Wow, what a great surprise. It was a somewhat difficult movie, beautiful setting but lots of dark drama mixed unevenly with dark humor, lots of ups and downs. Loved the performances, really didn’t like most of the characters, but that’s ok I don’t think we were supposed to. Three Billboards kept me guessing and the plot and characters constantly bewildered and surprised me. It wasn’t a surreal movie like David Lynch’s work or something, it was very down to earth and gritty. It just wasn’t a predictable plot.

The performances were indeed great including Sam Rockwell playing an unlikable guy very well. But I really didn’t see why his character was a police officer to begin with, my guess is maybe the sheriff and he had some sort of history or were even related.

I didn’t like how he was apparently forgiven so easily by Mildred at the end, I mean he beat up Red very badly, threw him out of a window onto the street, and continued to beat him. I wonder if he could have been the killer of Mildred’s daughter.

I guess this is the sort of movie where we won’t have a sequel and we are left with the very open ending.

I saw it on Friday after work and also liked it quite a bit. As to your spoiler-boxed speculation,

I don’t think Dixon (Sam Rockwell’s character) did the rape and murder. For one thing, I don’t think he was smart enough not to give himself away. He was pretty open about what he did to Red and even admitted to being in the “persons of color torturing business” (although not the “n-word torturing business”.)

Got a screener DVD from my friend whose husband is in the DGA. Finally saw it.

Liked it, did not love it. Martin McDonagh’s weakest film, for sure.

Me too. In Bruges is powerful, very powerful. But it was also hilarious, which made its serious scenes more powerful. Seven Psychopaths was less serious, but definitely equally funny.

This was obviously way less funny, but I also did not find the seriousness of it to be all that effective. It was a pretty good movie, but not amazing.

I didn’t see that before the movie, but just did. Seems like a normal trailer to me.