Author Topic: Three Billboards...  (Read 944 times)

1SO

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Three Billboards...
« on: November 21, 2017, 02:57:18 PM »
However, I still struggle to overcome the vapid nature of the film's intent. What is the arc of these characters? Where does the story go after the film's conclusion? What do the characters learn? What do we learn?
This is easy for me. We're so used to a film with a premise like this being about vengeance, but it's actually about healing, about moving on and making peace with the fact that the dead are dead and any unresolved issues are likely to remain unresolved.


Two things that I keep coming around on.

1. How come we never learn what happened to the daughter's remains? Was she buried or cremated? Is there a plot or a final resting place? I ask that because the billboards become her memorial, and we see that with Mildred bringing fresh flowers to the billboards and her conversation with the deer.

2. Isn't it interesting how close the Billboards are to Mildred's house? And how we don't get that information until the film is almost over, when Dixon shows up with the results of the DNA test? Why do you think McDonagh did that when there could've been shots of Mildred watching the signs go up from her front porch. We could see her watching Dixon learn about them.

I don't think either of these decisions are bad, they just show McDonagh making a different type of film.

pixote

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 03:01:22 PM »
I thought the proximity of the billboards to Mildred's house was clear from the early scene when Robbie (Lucas Hedges) complains about that on the drive home.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 03:22:15 PM »
He complains as if this route isn't the most direct, as if there's another route and she's choosing to go this way back to the house. There's still no geography showing how close the road is until that shot at the end.

Compare that to the company that owns the billboards. The camera makes sure to point out the police station directly across the street, which becomes important for many reasons.

Corndog

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 03:23:02 PM »
I get the healing part, but it just didn't have much of an effect on me when I saw it. It really is a movie I should have liked more, wished I would have liked more. Shame I didn't. Perhaps seeing it again, and contemplating it more it might.
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 08:10:19 PM »
I think it does have a lot of McDonagh's usual themes on display, the meaning of justice being key, but definitely picked up on the notion of healing and growth as well, which underscores everything nicely. It, unsurprisingly, feels dramatic, but I do understand the complaint about it being a little hollow on first viewing. I really loved it for the script my first time through, but hours and days after leaving the theater it grew more and more in my estimation, I hope that happens to you as well, C Dub.

One thing I noticed, and I'm sure this is a Random Movie Thoughts thing rather than an in here thing, is just how much every film I've anticipated this year has hit. 3BBs, KoaSD, Florida Project, Lady Bird, Okja, Beguiled, I've been impressed by all of these. It's rare that there's not one that would miss the mark or I'd feel, at best, just kind of okay about and, at worst, negative on, but man it has been a hell of a year.

Oh, the John Hawkes parts with his girlfriend are also great in this film.

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 05:33:19 PM »
There was a shot early on from the house to the signs.

Two things bothered me :
1) With a rapist / killer still not found, the sheriff of all people leaves his two little girls alone and out of earshot on a riverbank.
2) The overheard description of the rape/murder includes the detail that the victim was set on fire then raped which seems like a strange enough way to commit that offense that there would not be two such cases. Also that guy's appearance in the gift shop leads nowhere. What was that about?

I liked the movie. Love wins out over hate.
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 07:17:19 PM »
Doesn't that kind of give McDormand more of a reason to go after him at the end? Not that she really needed it, I guess any lead at all would have gotten her to go.

Bondo

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 10:58:37 PM »
The best excuse I could come up with about how this guy with such a similar story ends up popping into her shop as kind of a plot head fake is that he saw her on the news and decided to go in and intimidate her in an act of rapist solidarity? It is a bit confusing. But since the film isn't ultimately a whodonit, I'm not sure it matters. Especially in the core three of McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell it's doing so much good work in processing a situation from different perspectives, each handling a form of grief in a different way that intersects.

1SO

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 11:01:10 PM »
There was a shot early on from the house to the signs.
I've been making such a mountain of this little point I figured there was a shot I had missed


Two things bothered me :
1) With a rapist / killer still not found, the sheriff of all people leaves his two little girls alone and out of earshot on a riverbank.
The sheriff was convinced if the killer was still in town they would've found him because he would've bragged to somebody about it by now. It is still a strange way to get some private time, but I don't have kids so I just went with it.


2) The overheard description of the rape/murder includes the detail that the victim was set on fire then raped which seems like a strange enough way to commit that offense that there would not be two such cases.
I wonder if at some point this guy was supposed to be the killer. It ties into the sheriff saying this exact thing would happen and Martin McDonagh does like his symmetry. My reaction was like you and Dixon, it seemed so clearly to be the guy.


Also that guy's appearance in the gift shop leads nowhere. What was that about?
Like the guy in the bar, these scenes make for great talking points and I like that McDonagh leaves them open. Again, this could be the guy, but we don't know and we never real. That feels very real, something that happens throughout the film. Like the scene with Mildred and the deer where she's not buying into that being her daughter's spirit. Or Dixon being completely irredeemable because of his actions and then McDonagh refuses to make him less than human. The scene at the hospital with Dixon and Red isn't necessary and it doesn't humanize Dixon, but I like that McDonagh gives Red this moment and the character decides not to go big with it.

What does it say that the most heartbreaking moment of the whole film comes from Peter Dinklage in a sub-plot as off the path as the one in Fargo with Mike Yanagita?

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Re: Three Billboards...
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2017, 02:29:07 AM »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.