An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
Guillermo del Toro
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
It goes without saying that dark comedy is very difficult to accomplish. I would almost say it's harder to pull off than regular comedy because you need to be able to keep people invested in the dramatic aspect of the film, while still keeping them laughing throughout the majority of the duration. Director Martin McDonagh has matured as a filmmaker over the years, starting off with In Bruges, which was pretty much a flat-out comedy, to Seven Psychopaths, which placed him a little further into the spotlight, but I must admit that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is not only his best film to date, but also one of the best films I've received the pleasure of witnessing all year. From laughter to genuine tension and heart, this is a film that's pretty much perfect all around. Here is why I can recommend this film to everyone.
After the tragic death of her daughter, Mildred Hayes calls out the local authorities on three billboards, publicly stating that they're not doing their jobs and not a single arrest has happened since the death of her daughter. While publicly displaying this is upsetting to some, she sees it as a point being made. Through some very cleverly written humor throughout the entire film, levity is brought to the table in times of sorrow, making this a very easy movie to watch. Although the story itself is quite depressing, this film is written in a way that will still find a way to make you smile.
From the very first few frames of this film, you can tell the tone will be handled perfectly. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh with pure class, you can tell that he was very passionate when bringing this film to fruition. Every line of dialogue either progressed the story along, developed a character, made the audience laugh, or provided deep insight into the event of the murder itself. While not having the bearings of a conventional murder mystery, many viewers may not like the way this film concludes, but in the context of the movie as a whole and everything it's setting out to accomplish, it really does have a realistic and true finale.
It's arguable that some of the law enforcement officers play just as significant a role as Mildred does throughout the film, being pretty much present every time a revelation occurs, but I gravitated the most towards Officer Dixon. I've always been a huge fan of Sam Rockwell, and his character here is one of the most essential to this story, set on being there from beginning to end, trying his absolute best to be of any help. While Woody Harrelson's portrayal of Chief Willoughby is by far the most important to the story at hand, it's the characters around him that drive him to his actions throughout the course of the movie. The characters are truly what make this film as likable as it is, and they're all wonderfully drawn.
Overall, when looking back on my experience watching Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I find myself not being able to wait until its official theatrical release to watch it again. I found this film to be stellar in every sense of the word. From a noteworthy performance by Francis McDormand, devoted secondary performances, a screenplay that will have you consistently laughing, while also being emotionally involved with the serious storyline at hand, and pulling the audience in with its subtly composed score, everything about this film is worth praise. This was a huge surprise for me and I can't recommend you checking it out enough. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a fantastic piece of modern cinema.
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