Jack Goes Confidential: Don’t Mess With The Fury Of A Mother!

So you’ve never been to Ebbing, Missouri...

Come to think of it, neither have I.

Because Ebbing, Missouri doesn’t really exist.

However there are plenty of Ebbing-like burgs throughout the Show Me State with similarities aplenty.

Which brings me to producer, director and writer Martin McDonagh’s terrific new dark comedic drama with the lengthy and somewhat puzzling title, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI.

This is the story of a mother (Frances McDormand) who goes to great lengths to shame the local police department into solving the rape and murder of her daughter.

Dissatisfied with a never ending investigation—or better, seemingly lack of investigation— she makes bold moves. The strangest involves renting three rundown billboards leading into town. Then in large block lettering addresses the police chief’s apparent lackadaisical approach to the investigation.

He’s played to perfection by Woody Harrelson.

Once the billboards are up and the regional TV news crews start covering the mother’s personal fight, all hell breaks loose.

Against that backdrop Harrelson’s police department has its own road to haul.

It may not be Mayberry’s local sheriff’s office, but it’s designated Barney Fife-like deputy played by Sam Rockwell may just pick up a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Come to think of it Frances McDormand should be a shoe in for a Best Actress nomination and Woody Harrelson could very well be considered for a Best Supporting nomination as well.

Bottom line THREE BILLBOARDS will most likely appear on the Best Picture list when the Academy makes its announcements on January 24th!

Sadly the movie was not made in the state of Missouri. Filming took place in North Carolina. I’m guessing that financial considerations came into play.

Fox Searchlight Pictures has been carefully platforming the film.

It opened on a very limited run on both coasts a couple of weeks ago and went through the roof.

Several additional large markets were then added this past weekend and the box office held up.

Kansas City moviegoers will experience this little gem beginning Thanksgiving weekend—but initially only in limited engagements.

Not to worry as the film’s distributor will widen the KC runs on December 1st.


My grade: A

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings during Kansas City’s Morning News on 98.1 FM, KMBZ.

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4 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: Don’t Mess With The Fury Of A Mother!

  1. CG says:

    Sounds great Jack…so odd, five years ago Woody read the KING OF STING then at Warners for Eric Eisner’s company with Rob Lorenz directing and he wanted to play my partner Woodbeck, they said he was too old, the studio not Eisner or Lorenz…and said no…he is much older but what a great actor and he would have been wonderful I’m sure…that’s the breaks…

    I heard this was a good movie so nice review I will go see it thank you.

  2. Paul... just Paul says:

    Best film I’ve seen this year, Jack. Many unexpected turns and twists. I see Oscar-worthy performances from McDormand and Harrelson, but am less certain about Rockwell’s portrayal of the erratic deputy.

  3. Shawnster says:

    I saw it over the weekend and had great hopes for it. I left the theater disappointed. Am I the only one who thought that although it had a terrific premise, it was trying to do too many things? It felt like a disjointed mess to me. The cast is terrific and they are the only reason it keeps from being on my worst movie of the year list. Were you guys OK with the ending? Jack, I usually agree with your reviews, but did I miss something here?

    • CG says:

      Shawn some of what you say is true…unlike Fargo it was more talking heads and the backstory was a bit weak, like what happened to the ladies daughter, who did it, why, etc…but the performances were outstanding…I liked Sam Rockwell and I think he is best actor worthy…in a way it dragged a bit..and kinda went nowhere in the end…but interesting and academy will love it.

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