Kyle Langenbach

Review - "Three Billboards"

4 posts in this topic

Ladies and gentlemen we finally have the Best Picture of the year. What an incredible film. (Just wish the name had been a tad shorter)

From the beginning right up until the end I was completely engrossed. Martin McDonagh wrote and directed it, and the fact that he is a playwright makes total sense. The writing was perfect - every line had a purpose and the wit was razor sharp. No dead lines.

The characters were all three dimensional - no cardboard cut out stereotypes. In fact, just when you think he was giving you one, they do something that turns it on its head. And it was never just for shock value - there was a reason for everything that they did. That is one of my biggest sticklers in films and Martin passed with flying colors.

Frances McDormand is in familiar territory a la Fargo and kills it. Oscar worthy turn as the justice seeking mother of her murdered daughter. Woody Harrelson could have been the typical sheriff but offers so much more. And one of my favorites - Sam Rockwell - has so many subtle layers to his performance that he should also get an oscar nom. Sam's mother was just full on creepy as it gets.

The pacing was perfect. He kept pulling you along - not too fast, but not too slow - and I really couldn't guess what would happen next. There are several extremely emotional scenes (no spoilers) that were amazing. One in particular was handled more originally and powerfully here than in any other film in recent memory. From the time it happened, to the following scenes immediately afterward, the mix of drama and comedic elements was masterfully done. Really don't think I've seen anything like it before.

As for the story itself, it's pretty simple and tight. We see the top level story of a mother trying to get justice for her daughter, and the cops who aren't willing to help as the trail is ice cold. But underneath that are the complexities of each character's own personal struggle and how they clash and then connect, which really is the meat of the film. No character is an angel - they all have warts - and that made for great cinema.

My only "complaint" is the ending. Not giving it away, but as Luke said, it did not go the way I thought it would. I honestly was upset - not because I didn't like it, but because I wanted to continue the ride for a little longer.

Take the exit and drive by the three billboards. Absolutely worth the trip.

Grade: A+

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@Kyle Langenbach I thought that this film was a serious misfire, I wanted to like it but it just left me cold. The characters were annoying and I didn't care  for any of them.  I have enjoyed most of McDonagh's other work and was so disappointed with this.  Maybe if I give it another viewing I might warm to it but I very much doubt it. 😕

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I loved this film! The acting was great all around. But that ending! I just wished we stayed with them just a little longer. 

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I also wished it had gone a bit longer for a more definitive resolution, and there could have been a major emotional payoff (no spoilers ;) 

BUT, after musing a bit, I think it actually works better in that it is left to the viewer to imagine what would have happened, which gives it an everlasting quality....

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