Randomly Reviewed - “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

January 29, 2018

 

Let's start with a fact: I've found Three Billboards the best movie of 2017 for the complexity of the themes faced, for how characters are developed, and for how their actions change the story and twist it in an unpredictable way, that I won't be able to make a reasonable list of highlights. 

 

I don't even know where to start. Really. I'm just looking at this white page searching for the first topic to talk about, but everything it's so linked together, it's actually difficult to pick the first one. 

 

So, I will go down the main topic review randomly.

(If you haven't seen the movie, this review is not for you, yet).

 

Revenge plot will always crack something inside you. Watching the movie you can't deny that everything - even some of the cruelest actions that Frances McDormand does - is captivating. But, even if you can accept her violence, you know that there's a limit you shouldn't overcome. 

 

Wearing a jeans overall and a bandana is the new outlaw uniform. No matter if you work in a factory all the time or if you just like to have a walk all by yourself and plant flowers for your daughter, the jeans overall is your shield against badmouth.

 

Characters are deeply complex, and you'll just love it. We can say that, generally, the cop is good, the outlaw is bad, the mother is caring, the son is a rebel. But in “Three Billboards” every character is depicted three-dimensionally to show their weaknesses, not only with words, but mainly with acting (“Show, don’t tell” is the first rule of good scriptwriting). The kitchen scene has a tons of bits incredibly well-played to show how we can feel guilty about someone and been unable to say "I'm sorry" out loud, but we prefer to play with morning cereals, in a disrupted family where anger, blame and rage were always there. 

 

Dynamics of conflict will change after Chief Willoughby death. Mildred Hayes, divorced mother, is fighting against the whole community after her daughter cruel killing. The three billboards are a call to action to respond to unbearable questions, claiming for the guilty to be found. But when the main opponent, to whom the billboards are addressed, dies, who is going to take his place? The badass cop, that was just rage and insults has a hard bequest. 

 

Dramedy is fun with a moral message that can all of a sudden change the tone of a scene.

When you have to think about a scene where you move from fun to drama, think about the MIldred-Willoughby (see the script, page 23). First of all, Chief enters the room and say:

 

Dramedy is fun with a moral message that can all of a sudden change the tone of a scene.

When you have to think about a scene where you move from fun to drama, think about the MIldred-Willoughby (see the script, page 23). First of all, Chief enters the room and say:

"Don’t gimme that look. If you got rid of every cop with vaguely racist

leanings then you’d have three cops left

and all o’ them are gonna hate the fags so what are ya gonna do, y’know?"

which is one of the most sharp and uncomfortable bitter truth of this movie, and of nowadays Fly-over America. Then they test each other to see who, between the two, will go down first, but suddenly something changes. We all know Willoughby is fighting with cancer, even though he tries to hide it from the community; that's why when he accidentally spurts a spray of blood that hits Mildred in the face every barriers of fighting collapse. That's the tragedy of a man facing an aggressive cancer. We can all identify with that. 

 

 

A disrupted way to ask for help. There's no such thing as being forget. And for a mother there's no such thing as a daughter being killed in a cruel way and be left without a culprit and a sentence. No answer is the worst suspension we can ever face. Mildred is left with nothing to fight for, that's why she asks for attention and she claim for justice. “Three Billboards” has been labeled as a movie about gays, about racisms, about a woman empowerment over society, but to me is about someone abandoned by society and doomed to obscurity, which is something so much closer than Missouri. It all around us, and it can't be put under any specific label. It’s a movie about who we are, and who we want to be.

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© 2018 by LINDA FRANZOSI - Milano, Italy - Photos: Ennefoto