For Your Consideration, Academy.
2017 was a pretty unique year for film. Up until now, there have been a handful of films in the conversation of what would be the clear frontrunner. Lady Bird and Get Out are two of the best reviewed films of the year, and the fact they were helmed by minorities bode well in a politically charged landscape like this one. Dunkirk and The Shape of Water are other sound productions hopeful for the title. We are well into awards season now, and the playing field is pretty even in terms of what film could take home the big prize. At the Golden Globes, Lady Bird took home the prize for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical and Three Billboards out Ebbing, Missouri won Best Picture – Drama. Out of all the stellar films this year, Three Billboards is a step above the rest and deserves to win Best Picture at this years Academy Awards.
With the Oscar nominations having just been announced, all the critic favorites are present with a handful of nominations. The Shape of Water is leading the charge with a generous 13 nominations. Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele landing nominations for best directing speaks volumes about the political landscape of this year’s Oscars campaign. The list of nominated films is the most powerful and diverse in recent years. There is still no clear frontrunner for what actually IS the best picture. While Get Out and Lady Bird were critically loved, The Shape of Water and Dunkirk are spectacular feats of production. Out of all the films nominated, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is what I feel deserves to take home the glory come March 4th.
From director Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards is one of the most unique films of the year. While its set in a fictional town, the movie feels like a window into real life with human characters interacting in a compelling story. The film is absolutely gorgeous and brought to life by award worthy performances, especially from Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. Technically speaking, the movie deserves it’s praise from its actors and direction alone. However, the film is so much more than just it’s part.
2017 was an important year. With the birth of the “#MeToo” and “Times Up” movements, women have begun voicing their experiences with abuse and the forced complacency that has come from decades of silence. These movements are sent tremors through not just the entertainment industry but many others as well, provoking change in how inappropriate behavior towards others is tolerated. The story of Three Billboards harmonizes with the sentiment of these movements.
Frances McDormand plays Mildred, a woman whose daughter was raped and murdered. Not only that, but her case seems all but forgotten about in a way that makes her assaulter invulnerable to persecution. We have a woman who is fed up with the male patriarchy in her world (seen here as the Ebbing Police Department) and pulls a dramatic stunt to get her voice out there and shake up the entire status quo. We witness the waves Frances McDormand’s character sends throughout the community, and how each character is forced to examine their own behavior before changing to reach a new stasis.
While Get Out and Lady Bird are impressive on their own rights for what they have done culturally, Three Billboards has done just the same if not more. Its powerful story is once that echoes everything that has occurred within the past few months, from gender and race issues to the ever changing mentality of the working class. Not only that, but this is all set within a little piece of everyday American town. Three Billboards is a film that stands above the rest. Its evocative story is elevated by a powerhouse ensemble, highlighted even further by impeccable cinematography and production design. All of these elements set aside, this is the film that fully demonstrates the state of the world in 2017-2018. If the point of cinema is to give a glimpse into the culture of the time, then Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is clearly the best movie to showcase what a culturally volatile and important time we are currently living in.