At least as far as the acting awards go, the frontrunner for a lot of Oscars is still ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. Out of what I’ve seen so far, this one isn’t as showy (visually) as ‘The Shape of Water’ but I found myself more engaged story wise.
The setup: when a young girl is raped and murdered in a small Midwestern town, her mother buys up three billboards on the city limits to embarrass the local police chief, who hasn’t brought anyone to justice for the crimes. Frances McDormand is pitch perfect as the mother, Sam Rockwell is a hotheaded young cop who probably doesn’t deserve his badge, and Woody Harrelson is the police chief in the middle who wants to do the right thing but has his own personal problems.
Before I saw this one, I heard ‘racism’ thrown out there so my guard was up. In truth though, its racism as a function of the world these people live in, which doesn’t bother me if it’s the truth of these characters (Google Lawrence, Kansas from this past weekend if you don’t have any ideas about what can go down in Small Town, USA.)
Back to the film itself, super casting again on down the call sheet. Even Tyrion Lannister and Lester Freamon are perfect fits as essentially bit players to the larger story being told here.
I’ll be genuinely surprised if Rockwell and McDormand don’t win for this.