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Commander Jameson

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Frances McDormand breaking balls

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It’s definitely a strange one. It’s without doubt a great film with brilliant performances throughout and a decent, quirky story that moves along at a good pace, but I’m confused as to why it’s getting such rave reviews. I wouldn’t rate it as good as either In Bruges or Seven Psycopaths.

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Near perfect for me, only one scene/character/moment/actress felt out of tune (she just couldn’t pull it off and stuck out in a film filled with fantastic performances), but the tonal balance between comedy and tragedy throughout was masterfully handled. Having Woody and Rockwell working together was an absolute treat, such a fantastic cast, great script. Loved it. I say put the kid from Manchester By The Sea in a January film every year please! 

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On 14/01/2018 at 20:38, JPL said:

It’s definitely a strange one. It’s without doubt a great film with brilliant performances throughout and a decent, quirky story that moves along at a good pace, but I’m confused as to why it’s getting such rave reviews. I wouldn’t rate it as good as either In Bruges or Seven Psycopaths.

 

It's your opinion and all that but Seven Psycopaths is half the film that this or In Bruges is. 

 

Spoiler

It's getting great reviews for many reasons (it's great) but it does have some small issues - Cornish is functional and made to look worse as all the other characters are portrayed so well, a couple of small details didn't sit well with me like when the billboards were on fire and how close McDormand went to the flames like she was made of asbestos, the brevity of Rockwell's stay in the hospital after the fire.

 

Funny, sad, profanity, grotesque characters and well acted. There's so much to like.

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This was a bit disappointing. It often changed tone from comedy to deeply serious and straight, sometimes several times in a single scene. As a result I could never get into it properly. Agree with the comments about the performances being generally excellent apart from the one exception. I loved In Bruge, but the balance wasn't there this time.

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Liked a lot but didn’t love this. There wasn’t a clear narrative through line and her fire bombing of the police station didn’t feel like something that character would do.

 

Think the other McDonagh brother is a slightly better filmmaker :).

 

Thought Rockwell, McDormand and Harrelson were great.

 

Abbie Cornish was fine but the problem was her age: why cast a young looking 35 year old to be married to a 56 year old?

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I saw this last night, and thought it was alright but not incredible - I found the humour a bit juvenile, and undermined a lot of the character work. Martin McDonagh's style is basically Garth Ennis with an A-Level, and I didn't think it quite worked in context. A lot of the jokes were just someone unexpectedly swearing. That said, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson were all absolutely brilliant, particularly Rockwell. It's tricky to have a character turn like that, but he pulled it off.

 

Peter Dinklage's role was a bit humiliating, he was the butt of dozens of midget jokes before the filmmakers belatedly acknowledged that, yes, short people are people too. And then chucked in a couple more midget jokes to keep you going. Ha ha, he's trying to shag Frances McDormand! Etc. In Bruges relied on apparently unironic jokes about dwarfs as well, I get the sense that McDonagh was trying to have his cake and eat it a bit there.

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I think what people laugh at say more about them tbh.

 

Django Unchained, for example, had racists making racist jokes to other racists thus revealing that they were, well, racist (incase the setting hadnt tipped off the audience). Some of those jokes played well with some of those in the cinema, sadly. I watched Three Billboards at lunchtime on a weekday, most of the audience were over 60. The C-word gags 

Spoiler

especially the zinger from the son to his mum about not having any cunts in the house

played well with me and my missus while the midget gags not so much. One older lady nearly fell off her chair with the 

Spoiler

use the little boys room gag. 

 

People eh?

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I didn't mind the Dinklage role - it didn't seem to me that the film was making jokes about the character; other characters were, which was all part of the context. It can be a cheap way to introduce a bit of 'colour' into your story, but I didn't get that vibe here.

 

I love the A-Level Ennis insight, though, it's going to hover over any future viewings and you could easily imagine Billboards edited to an Ennis version. She'd have smashed that bottle of wine in her ex-husband's face, for a start.

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Maybe it's just the audience I watched it with, but they didn't seem to be laughing at the character's use of midget jokes, they seemed to be laughing alongside them. The film too seemed not to be putting too much distance between the characters and the filmmakers - lines like "You can have dinner with as many midgets as you want" are admittedly pretty funny and well-delivered,  but a bit crass too. It didn't sink the film for me, but it did put me off a bit. I guarantee you that Martin McDonagh secretly thinks midget jokes are the bee's fucking knees.

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29 minutes ago, Rowan Morrison said:

I love the A-Level Ennis insight, though, it's going to hover over any future viewings and you could easily imagine Billboards edited to an Ennis version. She'd have smashed that bottle of wine in her ex-husband's face, for a start.

 

Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand pretty much have the Steve Dillon face already.

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7 minutes ago, K said:

Maybe it's just the audience I watched it with, but they didn't seem to be laughing at the character's use of midget jokes, they seemed to be laughing alongside them.

 

Well, if you will insist on watching films in a cinema.

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8 hours ago, K said:

Maybe it's just the audience I watched it with, but they didn't seem to be laughing at the character's use of midget jokes, they seemed to be laughing alongside them. The film too seemed not to be putting too much distance between the characters and the filmmakers - lines like "You can have dinner with as many midgets as you want" are admittedly pretty funny and well-delivered,  but a bit crass too. It didn't sink the film for me, but it did put me off a bit. I guarantee you that Martin McDonagh secretly thinks midget jokes are the bee's fucking knees.

 

I didn't mind the midget jokes. It shows that McDormands character is genuinely ignorant rather than that new 21st century liberal hollywood version of ignorant, where they still want to keep the audience on side. If you as the audience laugh at the midget jokes then thats on you.

I also admit to finding the little boys room line funny.

 

The horrible "you have a nice cock" scene nearly sunk the film for me. 

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9 hours ago, kerraig UK said:

The horrible "you have a nice cock" scene nearly sunk the film for me. 

 

Took me straight out of the film and back to Harrelson's sex scenes in True Detective, which I could have done without then and I could do without now. i wonder if he just lobs this stuff into his contracts on the basis that if you don't ask, you don't get.

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Watch it tonight and thought it was excellent. A really great script delivered by great performances all around, with Rockwell and McDormand being the standouts. They are fully deserving of their nominations.

 

I liked the ending too 

Spoiler

in that it didn't go for the Hollywood ending of them having found the guy and her getting peace. Sure thats what we ultimately want for her but it shows life isn't a hollywood film.

 

However, it did leave me feeling that it was him and due to his position in the armed forces it was being covered up. If he hadn't of shown up at the gift shop earlier in the film I'd have just assumed it wasnt him, but because of that it felt like there was more to it.

 

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Y'know a few weeks on and i'm really not so hot on this film anymore. I think I got a bit swept up by the hype train. I like the overall style, but there was just so much about it I didn't buy. Characters, scenes, motivations... A bit of a list:

 

Spoiler

As said before, Woody's wife was horribly miscast, too young, and made the farewell scene really cringey.
I don't buy that Sam Rockwell's character wouldn't be arrested for the assault on the billboard guy. I also don't buy the whole "oh he assaults people all the time" shtick. It's meaningless.
The midget stuff was too overdone
The young girlfriend was too cartoony and obvious. Provided some good gags but thats all
The firebombing of the police station pretty much made no sense at all. 

 

So yeah. Francis and Sam gave amazing performances and it kept me entertained. But it's no Fargo 2.

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I get some of those points, especially Dixon not being arrested. Even a police officer couldn't get away with that.

 

The midget stuff kinda served no purpose either other than to make a few midget jokes. Although it does kinda of add a different narative on the town reject. It isnt just someone playing a simpleton this time round, they chnaged uo that part and went a different direction.

 

The firebombing I didn't see an issue with. She clearly thinks its Dixon and maybe even other police officers who did it. She isnt in the right frame of mind either and it serves its purpose as a redemption arc for Dixon.

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7 hours ago, kerraig UK said:

Y'know a few weeks on and i'm really not so hot on this film anymore. I think I got a bit swept up by the hype train. I like the overall style, but there was just so much about it I didn't buy. Characters, scenes, motivations... A bit of a list:

 

So yeah. Francis and Sam gave amazing performances and it kept me entertained. But it's no Fargo 2.

 

Also, the mega-suspicious, openly pro-rape out-of-towner who turns up to menace Frances McDormand at a plot-critical moment. And the bit where she commits wacky actual bodily harm on three children outside a school with no repercussions.

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We don't. Just ones set in the real world perhaps? I think it pulls a very clever trick in being ludicrously entertaining, without ever becoming profound or important. I don't think it'll stand the test of time like Fargo.

Apologies for the horrifically self aggrandising nature of the following sentence, but I messaged Pants McSkill from the forum the same thing last night and he just responded: "Interesting! Well, not that you ever need validation on your opinions, but we had dinner last night with Roger Birnbaum who's the producer on the movie, and he said exactly the same thing."

 

So yeah, i'm right. Or something.

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On 24/01/2018 at 00:09, kerraig UK said:

 

The horrible "you have a nice cock" scene nearly sunk the film for me. 

 

Was that the scene after Woody kisses his two daughters goodnight? Because he leans in and starts snogging, and I didn't realise there was a cut to another room. It was unsettling.

 

But I loved it. I don't know why you keep harping on about Fargo.

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Very few fictional stories adhere to what would happen in the real world, though. And other times, the real world comes up with shit we wouldn't come up with in our wildest imagination.

 

Personally I think the film is very engrossing, I managed to forget my surroundings completely. The actors did an incredible job, the soundtrack fit like a glove, the film was laugh-out-loud funny but had a lot of heart, managing to draw characters that you want to hate, and then don't. 

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