Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 2978
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby dws1982 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:00 pm

Billboard Calls Out Alleged Sexual Assault By Athens Massage Therapist

So a lady in my hometown apparently saw Three Billboards and got an idea. I drive by this billboard almost every day. I think it was a bad idea for her to put it up for a lot of reasons, and I feel like it could damage her case, should it ever come to trial.

I will say that I kind of know the massage therapist accused in this case (I know his wife), and while I can't speak to this situation, I would be truly stunned to learn that this was true. But I've been truly stunned about people in the past.

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5816
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby flipp525 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:13 am

After a second viewing last night, I’m much more comfortable in seeing Sam Rockwell’s character as deeply closeted. His mother even seems to allude to it when she jokes about him going to see a girlfriend and then knowingly laughing at the absurdity of that. I also think Dixon is in love with Willoughby (Harrelson) in a way. His breakdown when he learns of the suicide looked like a crushed lover’s response. The screenplay seems to offer just enough clues for this to be an interpretation without outright stating it.

Truly excellent film and even more powerful during subsequent viewings.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Uri » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:40 pm

Thelma & Louise. That is the answer. (Rather than the inevitable Coen's analogy).

The more I’m thinking about TBOEM, the more T&L creeps into my mind. It appears to me as the natural predecessor to McDonagh’s film, dealing with the same issues and themes – inherent violence, its inevitable tendency to escalate, rage, gender oppression, male establishment vs. budding female awareness - while offering a similarly alien take on seemingly familiar American landscapes - actual ones as well as metaphorical and internal ones. And once you envision McDormand as a substitute to Sarandon, Harrelson as Keitel and, well, Rockwell as Davis, remembering how meaningful setting things on fire is in both films and that in each of them envelopes filled with money (6000$ in the former, 5000 in the latter) pop up along the way, and you get the drift.

But really, T&L managed the kind of delicate balance TBOEM lacks. It had a lot to do with the strange but kind of miraculous merge of Callie Khouri’s grounded, intimately knowing script and Scott’s alienated, detached foreigner’s pov. And it didn’t shy away from the harsh, unavoidable outcomes which the chain of events occurring along the way had no way but to lead to. TBOEM has its two protagonists (former protagonist/antagonist) in a car, riding road-movie like into the sunset. T&L knew just too well that this car had no way to go but off a cliff.

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Uri » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:19 am

In other words, the Coen's approach is very stylized, yet very American and totally cinematic. I guess McDonagh aimed at something similar, yet he didn't fully gey there, since his roots are theatrical etc.

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Uri » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:04 am

I agree, and reading again what I wrote, I should have added that it doesn’t fully work in the context of this film, or at least, not fully working for me. It has a lot to do, I guess, with the fact that Americana, or rather the cinematic Americana (but then again, is there really any other “Americana”) landscapes don’t lend themselves to this kind of stylization. For me, that is.

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:28 am

Uri wrote:And thinking further about it, a lot of the problems I have with the film, seem to originate from McDonagh’s theatrical roots – the over stylization, the concept that an actor’s job is to personify the essence of a character rather than create a natural portrayal, going for an extremified rather than true to life version of reality would all seem more at place on the stage.



Never watch Italian movies from the 70s, Uri - they all have this same approach :)

And I guess that, if done well - like in this case - it works. McDonagh treats violence in the same way that, say, Lina Wertmuller (and countless others back then) used to treat sex. Of course you would have directed the actors in a different way, but then you would have never written such a script - or picked it. It doesn't necessarily has to do with theatrical roots - just a different style which you may not feel close to, and which is admittedly less frequent today - but which is still very cinematic.

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Uri » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:05 am

And thinking further about it, a lot of the problems I have with the film, seem to originate from McDonagh’s theatrical roots – the over stylization, the concept that an actor’s job is to personify the essence of a character rather than create a natural portrayal, going for an extremified rather than true to life version of reality would all seem more at place on the stage.

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Uri » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:36 am

It’s very frustrating. I really wanted to love TBOEM. It’s not that I hate it – it has a lot going on for it, and if not for anything else, it should be celebrated for at least not being another cookie-cutter film. I saw it last Thursday and came out of it jury-hanged. And then there were all those hosannas by the Israeli press I couldn’t fully relate to so yesterday I saw it again. And again, it amounted to an interesting viewing, at times even intriguing, but my initial sense remains – there’s something off about it. I found its basic premise, that of a crowd-pleasing version of Michael Kohlhaas to be highly tricky if not problematic, and certainly very hard to pull of successfully, and here this delicate balance is not fully achieved.

And it all begins with the writing – the good and the bad. The narrative and the characters, or rather the ideas of the narrative and characters, are very smart – as storytelling in itself and as an allegory. And a great deal of it is fleshed out nicely, due to clever writing and good acting. But the problem with McDonagh (which was very apparent with In Bruges, which I didn’t like) is his tendency to count on - or to hide behind – a kind of self-affected coolness. And that his take on Americanism is too often that of a self-affected cool European - Renoir or Wilder he’s not. It’s evident in his take on Race – white people are varied, blacks are peripherals, but all (3 of them) are cool and supportive of Mildred. And as far as the white character are concerned, they are drawn in a way typical for an outsider’s take on America. The good ones are liberal, color blind, despise organized religion, well educated (they know their Shakespeare from their Wild), have a sense of humor and, well, overall cool. The bad ones are, basically, ignorant hillbillies. And let me, being a non American, ask you natives how likely is it for a Missouri rural bar in 2017 to have Joan Baez singing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down?

Another aspect of that overzealous need to be, or appear, edgy and hip is a refusal to follow rigid, expected structure of cause and effect which is good for it allows for a freer, more fluid narrative. But when it’s taken too far - Dixon not being accounted for what he did to advertising boy other than loosing his post or Mildred’s terrorist attack not being investigated – the effect is distractingly cartoonish. And I have a major issue with the this-is-the-beginning-of-a-beautiful-friendship finale. Call me old fashioned, but I found this tragedy having a happy end hard to swallow. Have I mentioned the term “crowd-pleasing” yet?

On the bright side, the casting and acting are, in general, very good (the exception being the herds of Australian trophy wives who, for some mysterious reason, flocked to Ebbing Missouri). The three lead deserve the accolades they’re getting, but again, it seems like it began with saying “we need a young Frances McDormand and a twenty-something Sam Rockwell” and they said ”why bother, let’s take the originals”. All three are about two decades too old for their parts, and while it kind of works with McDormand and Harrelson, the casting of middle aged Rockwell (who still does wonders with the part) shifts the character of Dixon way over the edge. The script suggests he’s in his late ‘20s, an overgrown kid, but someone who’s capable of changing and achieving redemption. Pushing 50, he comes off as totally demented. And yes, it’s possible he’s a closet case, but one who’s so lacking any shred of self-awareness he had no idea he is, which again, would have worked totally different (and more at ease with that late burst of optimism) with a younger actor.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7364
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Sabin » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:16 am

Huh, with Stuhlbarg I was sure, but with Rockwell’s character I hadn’t really thought about it. He’s clearly a case study in repression and misdirected anger so it makes sense.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5816
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby flipp525 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:57 am

OscarGuy wrote:I can't see how anyone doesn't see Dixon as a closet case. I thought this was fairly obvious.

Well, it might be hinted at (I certainly thought it about Dixon while I watched the film) but I’m not sure I would call it fairly obvious. Like this Stuhlbarg debate, it seems like you could make an argument either way.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12539
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:45 am

I can't see how anyone doesn't see Dixon as a closet case. I thought this was fairly obvious.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:38 am

CalWilliam wrote:I loved reading your discussion. When the film began I was alreadly deeply committed listening to the delightfully beautiful ''The Last Rose of Summer'' from the opera ''Martha'' by Friedrich von Flotow, the Thomas Moore poem that became a traditional Irish song. Its lyrics deals with one of the main themes of the movie, the sadness and compassion of those souls who inhabit the world and handle their own solitude, as well as the mourning for those departed. As you said, everyone knows each other in Ebbing from gossip, but they actually don't know who they really are or look like.

Spoilers from here on:

I thought without a doubt in my mind that Dixon's character was a closeted gay man, it was clear when he reads the letter in the police station, although fortunately this is not relevant in any way, it's just another layer of this wonderful character. I should check again, though. I would say that he didn't throw away Red only because of his rage for Willoughby's suicide, but also for his possible love for him, which is kind of showed during their shared hospital scene. It's really compelling the way McDonagh builds its narrative and its characters, allowing the audience to fully understand these characters without judging them for their -sometimes- despicable behaviour. They are complex and we shouldn't take them for granted.

The performances are outstanding and I completely endorse McDormand and Rockwell winning Oscars next March, but wouldn't it be more adequate if Rockwell were cited in the leading category, given how competitive supporting is this year? What's your opinion about this? I buy arguments of him being supporting too, but his is a very co-lead role, specially as of the film's second half. I would like to read your opinions on this matter.


He could be considered a co-lead, definitely - though Supporting isn't a category fraud of unbearable proportions. Ironically, from what I read on this board, he could more easily win in Leading. Which, by the way, says alot about Willem Dafoe's performance in The Florida Project (not yet seen by me) - if it's better than Rockwell's (which I consider one of the best by an actor in an American movie in the last, say, five years), it must be exceptional.

CalWilliam
Temp
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:35 pm
Location: Principality of Asturias, Spain

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby CalWilliam » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:02 am

I loved reading your discussion. When the film began I was alreadly deeply committed listening to the delightfully beautiful ''The Last Rose of Summer'' from the opera ''Martha'' by Friedrich von Flotow, the Thomas Moore poem that became a traditional Irish song. Its lyrics deals with one of the main themes of the movie, the sadness and compassion of those souls who inhabit the world and handle their own solitude, as well as the mourning for those departed. As you said, everyone knows each other in Ebbing from gossip, but they actually don't know who they really are or look like.

Spoilers from here on:

I thought without a doubt in my mind that Dixon's character was a closeted gay man, it was clear when he reads the letter in the police station, although fortunately this is not relevant in any way, it's just another layer of this wonderful character. I should check again, though. I would say that he didn't throw away Red only because of his rage for Willoughby's suicide, but also for his possible love for him, which is kind of showed during their shared hospital scene. It's really compelling the way McDonagh builds its narrative and its characters, allowing the audience to fully understand these characters without judging them for their -sometimes- despicable behaviour. They are complex and we shouldn't take them for granted.

The performances are outstanding and I completely endorse McDormand and Rockwell winning Oscars next March, but wouldn't it be more adequate if Rockwell were cited in the leading category, given how competitive supporting is this year? What's your opinion about this? I buy arguments of him being supporting too, but his is a very co-lead role, specially as of the film's second half. I would like to read your opinions on this matter.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light". - Dylan Thomas

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:41 am

Uri wrote:
Marco's love is a though love. I should know.


I am not too sweet, true... but that could get boring after a while, right? Plus, those whom I love here know it, even if I am not always tender... :wink:

Uri
Adjunct
Posts: 1086
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 11:37 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri reviews

Postby Uri » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:52 am

flipp525 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:
flipp525 wrote: my friend Malaya who played the female news reporter in the film.


I LOVE YOU! :D

That’s a first. Thanks!


Marco's love is a though love. I should know.


Return to “2017”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests