During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Kristin Scott Thomas
In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award nominee Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Frances McDormand was hesitant to take the role when it was offered, but was eventually convinced by her husband, Joel Coen: "Because at the time he gave it to me I was 58... I was concerned that women from this socioeconomic strata did not wait until 38 to have their first child. So we went back and forth and we debated that quite for a while, and then finally my husband said, 'Just shut up and do it.'" See more »
In a scene near the end of the film that takes place in the Town Pump Tavern, Crop Haired Guy and Pal are sitting in a booth having bottles of beer. The label on their beer is from the Duck Rabbit Brewing Company which is not distributed outside of the North Carolina area where this movie was shot. This beer is not available in Missouri. See more »
Y'know what I was thinking about today? I was thinking 'bout those street gangs they had down in Los Angeles, the Crips and the Bloods? I was thinking about that buncha new laws they came up with, in the 1980's I think it was, to combat those street-gangs, those Crips and those Bloods. And, if I remember rightly, the gist of what those new laws were saying was if you join one of these gangs, and you're running with 'em, and down the block one night, unbeknownst to you, one of your fellow Crips,...
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I wanted this movie to be great. It wasn't. The performance by Frances McDormand is good but not great. She's very good at showing overwhelming anger, but that's all she's allowed. Her character never gets the chance to breathe. Blame the script, not her--she's a terrific actor, but this is a one-note performance.
2. There is a sub-theme about race. Race is an important issue and deserves to be treated honestly, but in this movie, it felt like a side-road that led nowhere. (It actually feels like moral preening on the part of the scriptwriter. It didn't add much to the movie's meaning.
3. Wonderful performances by Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell as a police chief and officer. Woody especially brought grace to a character who at first seemed unsympathetic. (BTW, McDormand's ex-husband has a young and beautiful girlfriend, and that relationship is treated as awkward and shameful. Harrelson's wife is young and beautiful, and that relationship is treated as idyllic.)
4. Police officers don't talk like that among themselves or to others.
5. I particularly didn't like the Chief's take on racist cops, saying essentially that all cops are racist. That may be accepted as dogma by some Hollywood screenwriters, but any chief who talks about his beloved employees--or cops in general--like that shouldn't be a cop. Coming from this character, the sentiment is cheap and clunky and inexplicable.
6. There are a couple of plot holes wide enough to drive a billboard through sideways. The most egregious (no spoiler here) is what happens (actually what should have happened but didn't) immediately following the window scene. (You'll know the scene when you see it.) The thing not happening was necessary keep the plot going. Everything that happened after that feels tainted as artificial and contrived. Likewise a later scene in a bar, involving a coincidence beyond coincidence.
7. It's impossible McDormand's character wouldn't have been arrested several times in the course of the movie, for several serious crimes. Once again, he plot depends on that not happening, and thus the plot again is contrived.
8. There's a letter delivered to Rockwell's character late in the movie which is full of Hallmark Card sentimental drivel. It can't be justified by either what we know of that character or what we know of the writer.
In a world (as the movie trailers used to say) where we are awash in numbskull comic book movies and incoherent special effects spectacles, it was a small miracle this film even came to my local cinema. Too bad I couldn't love it.
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