Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, Amanda Warren, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving
Seen on: 5.2.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Mildred (Frances McDormand) has had enough. Her daughter was murdered and the police don’t even seem to try to solve it. So she posts three huge billboards that call attention to the fact. The billboards don’t fan the investigation so much as the emotions of the locals. They do make the life of police chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) more difficult, especially since his hotheaded deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) takes it personally.

Three Billboards tells its story very well. Unfortunately it just tells the completely wrong story, managing to perpetuate the racism it tries to stand against by centering the white perspective.

Continue reading

This Must Be the Place (2011)

This Must Be the Place
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Writer:  Umberto Contarello, Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon, Harry Dean Stanton, David Byrne, Shea Whigham

Plot:
Cheyenne (Sean Penn) is a rock star in retirement living in Ireland who divides his time between  his wife Jane (Frances McDormand) and his fan Mary (Eve Hewson). But when he hears that his father is about to die, Cheyenne makes his way to the US – only to find out that he is too late. But he finds out that his father has been hunting a Nazi who has been tormenting him during WWII. And suddenly Cheyenne finds himself on the same hunt.

The movie is much like its protagonist: charming, funny and peculiar. But the whole Nazi-hunting story feels tacked on and runs too long. Still, it’s all worth it for Sean Penn in that role.

Continue reading

The Last Station (2009)

The Last Station is the newest movie by Michael Hoffman, based on the book by Jay Parini and starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti, Kerry Condon and Anne-Marie Duff.

Plot:
Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy) gets a post as the new secretary of Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer). Tolstoy is currently considering donating the rights to his works to the Russian people, much supported by Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), his friend and partner-in-politics. Alone Tolstoy’s wife Sofya (Helen Mirren) strongly opposes this – she fears for her future, as well as the future of her kids. This fight leaves their marriage more than strained.

This is one impressive movie, thanks to Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. Also, the relationship between Sofya and Leo is very fascinating. Unfortunately, not all progressions within the story are completely clear to me…

Continue reading