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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cindy Prascik's Review of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Dearest Blog: Having returned from the Big City, yesterday I utilized my recovery day to sneak in another Justice League screening, justified by pairing it with likely awards favorite Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailer.

A grieving mother finds a unique way of holding local law enforcement to account for its failure to find her daughter's killer.

Dear reader(s), Three Billboards left me adrift, so the following may seem disjointed and even contradictory at times. Know that this movie is, without question, worth your time, but it is challenging.

The quality of the performances in Three Billboards is breathtaking. It seems almost unfair to call out anyone individually when the ensemble as a whole is so extraordinary, BUT...Sam Rockwell. Just give this man an Oscar already! Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson are magnificent beyond words, and Peter Dinklage will manage to break your heart with less than 15 minutes total screen time. Incredible all 'round.

Much of Three Billboards is laugh-out-loud funny, despite the somber subject matter and sad consequences of the characters' actions. For the most part, said characters are are bigoted rubes who behave badly and selfishly, yet they aren't unlikable. The story is riveting, but the picture moves slowly and seems quite a lot longer than it actually is. Language throughout is nearly as brutal as the incident that propels the film, not just your garden-variety swearing, but also racial and homophobic slurs. While it may be realistic, it's also jarring and wears thin very quickly, ultimately making the film feel a lot like work. Without divulging any specifics about the ending, I will say simply that it is sure to be one of those controversial love-it-or-hate-it endings that leaves folks talking for months to come. (For the record, I loved it.)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri runs 115 minutes and is rated R for "violence, language throughout, and some sexual references."

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has been called the best movie of the year. For my money it's not that, but it is a thought-provoking exercise and an acting master class that's well worth your movie dollar.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri gets eight.

Fangirl points: Zeljko Ivanek! John Hawkes!

Until next time...

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