Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is currently in theaters and was just nominated for six Golden Globes, and it is pretty awesome. I went in totally expecting a Coen brothers movie because Frances McDormand is in it and I basically had only seen the trailer and read nothing about the movie. If I had been paying literally any attention at all, I would have realized that this film is by the ever-clever Martin McDonagh, whose film In Bruges (HU DVD 7081) is tops.

Not to get too spoiler-y, but one of the weird things about this movie that it dramatically follows through on all the promises it makes, and that follow through is immediate in almost every case. There’s very little on-screen reflection. You see a gun, it gets used. You think, “Oh, bad thing about to happen,” and then it does. Someone says, “You should do this bad thing,” and in the next scene, they do it. Or the inverse: try to be a better person, and in the next scene they do. It’s not a long, drawn out process of change. There is a big exception to this, but I found it really interesting that there’s very little hesitation. The characters are characters of will, who follow through on their impulses immediately. When we get our copy here at the library, I think this bears further study.

The other weird thing about this movie is that it’s full of truly kind people doing truly heinous things. And that just never gets addressed. It’s totally non-judgmental. Which is something that this movie shares with In Bruges.

Seven Psychopaths (HU DVD 10962) is the missing link for me, and I’m super excited to watch it. But Three Billboards is definitely one to catch in theaters if you can.


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