Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

"The biggest draw of the film is by far the implosive performance from Frances McDormand. With the relish she gave her character in the four-hour HBO epic “Olive Kitteridge,” she inhabits the tightly-written role of a mother protecting the public afterlife of a daughter who privately hated her while alive. Her brutally unchanging costume is always fresh: blue overalls, tough bandana, burnt-hair ponytail chopped off to make her look like a Toshiro Mifune samurai but with a drained-of-color face that betrays the thickness of her skin. McDormand puts Mildred’s scary immobility to good use: While drilling holes into dentists’ thumbs (obvious), she also pokes holes into Woody Harrelson by scanning relentlessly around his bald head with the deep darkness of her eyes (subtle). Mildred always has the upper hand without ever having to move or stand up. The good, quiet, wordless images by Ben Davis catch the sitting Mildred during powerful moments at a breakfast nook (white harsh morning light, hair in a tired natty tangle) and at the window of a gift shop (profile, drenched in black as the sun sets on a eventful day, pondering in secular loneliness why the town hates her guts)."

For more on my mixed thoughts, read on here.

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