Many films emulate the fine work of the #coenbrothers
, few reach those giddy heights of the brothers when at their best, that quirky sensibility of middle America where characters are not so much defined by their quirks but born of them managing a feat most find impossible, keeping on the right side of quirky whilst crafting actual human beings who have a character arc & emotional depth, for all the unique traits they are given the space to grow throughout the filmic world in which they inhabit. To this point I have described the work of the Coe’s but in truth this is a description which no-more perfectly matches those qualities found in #martinmcdonagh
Bursting onto the scene with the wonderful #inbruges
, a film which gifted #colinfarrell
his best role to do date, he made a mis-step as he entered Hollywood waters proper with the slight & not-as-celever-as-it-thought-it-was #sevenpsychopaths
, clearly McDonagh has taken stock and come back strong with his third feature, the not entirely catchy titled #threebillboardsoutsideebbingmissouri
, a tragicomedy (much like In Bruges) that takes the worst of cicumstances and manages to find the good, the bad & the worst in everyone involved, often mined for treacle black laughs but more importantly & first & foremost mined for emotional heft.
, in her best role since #fargo
(another Coen connection)has a peach of a character to play in Mildred Hayes , a grieving mother who rents the titular billboards on which she calls attention, & points blame, towards the local police force for failing to solve the brutal rape & murder of her daughter. The premise itself, a grieving parent seeks retribution, is not overly left-field, the approach clearly is, it’s an approach applied to almost every aspect of the film, from character to plotting to tone, seamlessly seguing between the tragic & comic with an effortlessness the belies the difficult balancing act of making these two tones work, a balancing act that has seen many fail.
Of course it helps that McDonagh has a gift in his cast, there isn’t a weak-link in sight, irrespective of screen-time each plays their part as brilliantly as you could hope, ac