Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (1 Viewer)

Bernie Lomax

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The more I think about this film the more I hate it. Contrived, dumb and cynical. Nothing the characters did or said rang true. The rape and murder of the daughter was simply a device to move the plot forward. You got not sense of that character, the relationship she had with Frances McDormand or any real sense of grief in the family. Left a bad taste in my mouth. He’s obviously going for a Fargo vibe but the characters in Fargo and their stupid actions were wholly believable, and there was genuine warmth in that movie. I didn’t get any warmth here, only overwritten dialogue and too many silly coincidences. Also too many cheap gags at the expense of dwarfs and people of colour.
 

hermie

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The more I think about this film the more I hate it. Contrived, dumb and cynical. Nothing the characters did or said rang true. The rape and murder of the daughter was simply a device to move the plot forward. You got not sense of that character, the relationship she had with Frances McDormand or any real sense of grief in the family. Left a bad taste in my mouth. He’s obviously going for a Fargo vibe but the characters in Fargo and their stupid actions were wholly believable, and there was genuine warmth in that movie. I didn’t get any warmth here, only overwritten dialogue and too many silly coincidences. Also too many cheap gags at the expense of dwarfs and people of colour.
While I actually agree with most all of what you say there I didn't have as much of a problem with it. I saw it as a melodrama with elements of farce. The performances were good and the script was funny. You can forgive a lot when you've got those last two.
 

Bernie Lomax

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While I actually agree with most all of what you say there I didn't have as much of a problem with it. I saw it as a melodrama with elements of farce. The performances were good and the script was funny. You can forgive a lot when you've got those last two.
Can’t fault the performances, really, but I thought the script was bad. He’s not half as clever or funny as he thinks he is.
 

Bernie Lomax

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It was immeasurably better than Seven Psychopaths but perhaps that's still damning with feint praise! Did you like In Bruges?
I like In Bruges. It’s an amusing little oddity. Best thing he’s done by far but even that felt dated at the time of release, like the script was written around the time of Pulp Fiction and left in a drawer for 10 years. Seven Psychopaths is awful rubbish.
 

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I enjoyed it. The main problem I had with it was how did Sam Rockwell become a cop? His character was not a million miles removed from Officer Doofy in the first Scary Movie film. Too ridiculous.

From looking at my facebook feed over the last few weeks I'm beginning to think it's the most streamed film ever.
 

Bernie Lomax

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I enjoyed it. The main problem I had with it was how did Sam Rockwell become a cop? His character was not a million miles removed from Officer Doofy in the first Scary Movie film. Too ridiculous.

From looking at my facebook feed over the last few weeks I'm beginning to think it's the most streamed film ever.
He was doing the same dumb sleazy weirdo character he plays in every film
 

hermie

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"tender", "heartbreaking" - i don't buy that. At no point did I see the death of the daughter as anything but a plot device.
There were other tender moments though. I didn't mind that the murder/rape wasn't the focus. More how the characters in town sorted out their differences etc.
 

Bernie Lomax

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There were other tender moments though. I didn't mind that the murder/rape wasn't the focus. More how the characters in town sorted out their differences etc.
It’s not that the murder wasn’t the focus that I have a problem with. It’s the way he used the fact to provoke a reaction. Several characters mention that she was raped while dying, that’s a harsh image and the fact that we don’t know anything about this character other than that makes it feel a bit like a cheap attempt to get a reaction from the audience. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

Bernie Lomax

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Take Twin Peaks, for example. Laura is murdered before the show begins so we don’t get to spend any time with her, but we get to know the character through nothing more than the other characters descriptions of her and a bit of home movie footage - you get a sense that this was a person with a life and that makes it all the more affecting. I did not get that with the daughter in Three Billboards. As I said it felt like she was nothing more than a plot device.
 

Bernie Lomax

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I mean if you’re going to base your film around the rape and murder of a character, at least give that character the respect of having a life lived or some kind of depth, otherwise how is she any different from, say, the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?

Maybe, I’m reading to much into this...!
 

hermie

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Yeah but that's not what the movie is about, it's just a springboard for what happens. It seems cheap if you focus on it but they seem to purposely not make it the focus. The bitterness and hurt that people carry around that causes all the violence and rage had to be explained somehow and you know a struggling business or a broken marriage on their own wouldn't have had the same cinematic impact.

But Twin Peaks is a good comparison. Of course the murder of Laura Palmer is a massive thing but so much other sinister stuff is forgotten, swept under the carpet or a blind-eye turned and the richness of the story is about how the community of the town come around to each other for support and get by.
 

Bernie Lomax

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Yeah but that's not what the movie is about, it's just a springboard for what happens. It seems cheap if you focus on it but they seem to purposely not make it the focus. The bitterness and hurt that people carry around that causes all the violence and rage had to be explained somehow and you know a struggling business or a broken marriage on their own wouldn't have had the same cinematic impact.

But Twin Peaks is a good comparison. Of course the murder of Laura Palmer is a massive thing but so much other sinister stuff is forgotten, swept under the carpet or a blind-eye turned and the richness of the story is about how the community of the town come around to each other for support and get by.
I guess we won’t see eye to eye on this, but I’m glad we can find common ground on some points.
 

hermie

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I guess we won’t see eye to eye on this, but I’m glad we can find common ground on some points.
Yeah I'm not really explaining myself that well. It's a really divisive movie. I've had some fun discussions about it these past two days. I think ultimately if you buy the (admittedly) flimsy premise and allow yourself to get taken along for the ride you'll enjoy it but if you don't every subsequent implausible piece of action only adds to your annoyance. For me Frances McDormand's performance on it's own makes it worth the watch.
 

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