Tag Archives: Sam Rockwell

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Movie:  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Rating:  4 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:    Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is a driven woman.  Months ago her teenage daughter Angela (Kathryn Newton) was brutally raped and murdered, and the police haven’t a clue.  Fueled by rage, despair and self loathing, Mildred decides to take matters into her own hands to shake things loose.  She scrapes together $5,000 to put a taunting challenge to police chief William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) on three billboards in town, and then waits for the backlash.

As expected, Chief Willoughby is quick to react to the message on the billboards.  Problem is, he has no clues to work with, plus he has his own problems to deal with.  The rest of the Ebbing police force is not too happy with Mildred, especially hot tempered officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell).  Mildred soon finds out that the police can make life miserable for her and people close to her, but she can dish it out with the best of them.  All of which makes a small town like Ebbing boil over with resentment as tempers flair.  But Mildred cares not what anybody thinks of her, as she is hell-bent on finding a killer.  Perhaps folks in Ebbing should have heeded Confucius when he wisely stated, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

This film has been marketed as a dark comedy.   Forget that.  This is heavy duty drama like a solid punch to your gut.  This is story telling at it’s best, and will keep viewers in the audience glued to their seats, waiting for the next development.  Absolutely riveting acting, with a sure Best Actress nomination for Frances McDormand.  There could be two Best Supporting Actor nominations for Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.  For discriminating film fans who gripe about the lack of quality stories in movies today, do not miss this film.  It has Best Picture nomination written all over it.  See it.

Mini Trailers:   Mildred – “How much to rent for a year?  Here’s $5,000.  Here’s what the billboards should say.”

Chief Willoughby – “Do you really want to f*ck with the Ebbing Police Department?”  Mildred – “I guess.  My daughter Angela was abducted, raped and murdered.”

Officer Dixon – “You can’t say n*gger torturing no more.  You got to say person of color torturing.”

Priest – “The town is dead set against these billboards of yours.  Nobody is with you with this.”  Mildred – “Why don’t you just finish up your tea, father, and get the f*ck out of my kitchen.”

Mildred – “You ain’t trying to make me believe in reincarnation, are you?  You’re pretty, but you’re not her.”

Officer Dixon – “I don’t know what the compensation scheme is for throwing a guy out the window.”

Mildred’s Son – “Shouldn’t we call the fire department?”  Mildred – “F*ck the fire department.  They probably started it.”



Movie:  Laggies

Rating:  3 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:    Megan (Kiera Knightley) is 28 years old, and kind of a mess.  She has a college degree, is bright, has a lot of friends, but she’s a “laggie”.  Basically, that means she is perpetually procrastinating about everything important in life, such as finding a real job, moving out of her parent’s house, and deciding on where her relationship is going with high school sweetheart Anthony (Mark Webber).  Megan just seems to lag behind her girlfriends as they have real jobs, and are getting married.  What’s a girl like Megan to do?

Like any sensible laggie, Megan decides to take a week off from her life to think about things.  While she is in her procrastination mode, she meets 16 year old Annika and decides to hang with her.  Like with any new BFF, Megan and Annika talk about boys, clothes, parents, and have a slumber party.  Eventually Megan is found out by Annika’s Dad, Craig (Sam Rockwell), who finds it odd his daughter is hanging out with someone Megan’s age.  Megan is forced to make some adult decisions in her life.

This is a pretty decent movie.  It is directed by a woman, Lynn Shelton, and I suspect many young women (and a few older than their 20s) can relate to Megan in her quest to figure out what she really wants to do with her life.  There is nothing especially innovative about the plot.  It is basically a coming of age story, just 5 or10 years too late.  The movie is better than average primarily because of a great cast.  Knightley is fine in the title role, and Sam Rockwell as usual is a standout.  Why Rockwell is not a bigger star is a mystery to me.  Then there is Chloe Grace Moretz, a fine actress who is on the cusp of real stardom.

Actress To Watch:  One of my favorite actresses is in the movie for a cup of coffee, and that is the lovely and talented Gretchen Mol.  She is most recently a member of the Boardwalk Empire cast, and always a welcome addition to any project.

Huh?  What the ….:  Following a wedding, the newlyweds take to the dance floor for their first dance, and it resembles a routine from an Olympic pairs competition.  Crikey!

Dialogue Nuggets:  “You can no longer work on your taxes from 1998.”

“Why would you tweek the nipples on Budda?”

“It was the start of a habit of letting other people make decisions for me.”

“Senior year I was voted Most Likely To Pump Gas.”

“Do I have something on my face?”   “Yeah, my Dad’s saliva.”

“I was just happy to hear from you, even if it was from jail.”