Movie Of The Week: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

billboardsHalloween is long behind us so I figured it was time to reintroduce the Movie Of The Week post while we wait on a decision for the future. There are a lot of great movies on the horizon and I want to cover them for this blog. This week’s film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of those films that peaked my interest for it’s unique title and for the caliber of the cast contained within the film. Frances McDormand (Fargo) plays Mildred, a mother who is not happy whatsoever with the local authorities for not solving her daughters murder case. So to get on their case and get them moving, she decides to take out ads on three billboards outside her town that will challenge the law to get off their behinds and solve case. The film also stars Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men) as Chief Willoughby, Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) as Dixon, Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out) as Red Wellby, Kerry Condon (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Pamela, Darrell Britt-Gibson (Keanu) as Jerome, Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) as Anne, Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) as Robbie, Zeljko Ivanek (Argo) as Cedric, Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones) as James, Brendan Sexton III (Empire Records) as Crop-Haired Guy, and the film was directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). 

three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri-movie-3This was an excellent film that just had so many emotions to it and just had so many talking points. First of all, the acting was absolutely superb from way too many people to list in this blog, but you already know that you get amazing performances from McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell, and Dinklage to name a few. Frances McDormand had the uneasy task of balancing out a character who is tough and a bad ass, but she is also vulnerable because all she wants is for them to solve the case. Sam Rockwell does a terrific job playing your typical backwater cop from a small southern-esque town who doesn’t know any better until something (I can’t tell you what) shows him the way. The second thing that was amazing about the film was the writing because this story kicked ass. You think that it’s going the way you would want it to go until it throws you a curve ball that takes the story in a darker place. There were so many glimmers of hope in the film that were just taken to a completely different place that I was amazed that it worked. The third thing that I loved about the film were the dynamic of the characters and the overall themes because each one was so unique to the story in how it progressed into a moral of no matter how dark things get, sometimes the people you are going against can turn out to be the ones you need. That was the constant theme of the film was redemption because it’s a learning experience for sure. The last thing is the cinematography which was just masterful from shot to shot. This is definitely a film worth checking out if you are a fan of great stories, actors, etc. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

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89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Thoughts

2017_oscars_posterI didn’t get to watch the whole special because I couldn’t get a feed where I was, but I caught the last half hour which is essentially all you needed to see last night especially the ending. It was that time of the show where it was time to reveal the winner of Best Picture and Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were presenting the award. When Beatty was about to read the winner, he seemed very confused so he would occasionally stop so Faye had to read the card and she announced La La Land as the winner of best picture. So, the whole entire crew came on stage and were giving their speech when it was revealed by the film’s producer Jordan Horowitz and Warren Beatty that there was an epic mistake. Jordan would reveal that the real winner of the award went to Moonlight and he waited on stage so that he could personally give them the award. That right there my friends is a very embarrassing moment for the Oscars and one that almost gets Steve Harvey off the hook for his epic blunder. There were a lot of surprises that night including that one because I thought for sure that La La Land was going to clean house. I knew that Casey Affleck was going to win Best Actor, but I thought that Dev Patel was going to win best supporting.

Out of 14 nominations which tied a record, the film La La Land only took home six total awards which is less than what I predicted (I predicted nine). One of the definite surprises of the night is that now you have to call Suicide Squad a Oscar winning film even though it was for best make up and hairstyling. Out of all the surprises and all the mayhem that ensued, the awards show definitely makes me want to watch Moonlight to see what they saw in the film which took home three golden statues that night. A lot of the films I predicted were second choices and if I had gone with my first choice, I would’ve done a lot better, but I listened to the hype. So, out of 24 possible awards, I only correctly predicted 11 of them which is 46% and that is a failing grade. Here are all the winners from the night:

Best Picture- Moonlight

Best Director- Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor- Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Actress- Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Moonlight

Best Animated Film- Zootopia

Best Foreign Film- The Salesman

Best Documentary Feature- O.J.: Made In America

Best Documentary Short- The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short- Sing

Best Animated Short- Piper

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars (La La Land)

Best Sound Editing- Arrival

Best Sound Mixing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design- La La Land

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Film Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Visual Effects- The Jungle Book

Best Make Up and Hairstyling- Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Predictions

2017_oscars_posterTonight is the 89TH Academy Awards a.k.a. the Oscars and the buzz around the land is with the musical La La Land which has garnered the most nominations with 14 overall. The question going into the night is whether that film really deserves all the nods and if it deserves any wins. One film in my opinion that deserves a win is the film Lion which was directed by Garth Davis and stars Dev Patel in this heart wrenching story of a 5 year old boy from India who is separated from his family only to be adopted by an Australian family and when he becomes a man he searches for his original family. It was such an amazing story and film that truly tugs on the heartstrings. Then there are films like Fences which was directed and stars Denzel Washington, the suspenseful Sci-Fi film Arrival, an amazing tale of a man who goes to war without a gun in the Mel Gibson directed Hacksaw Ridge, to other deserving films like Manchester By The Sea, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Hell Or High Water. What I do know is that the films I listed last without description will not win while Mel Gibson will be snubbed due to his past and I just can’t see Arrival winning. So, the award will come down to Lion, La La Land, and Fences.

download-1I do think that Casey Affleck has a big chance to win best Actor in a Leading Role and his only competition in my mind will come from Denzel Washington (Fences). I am not taking anything away from Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), or Ryan Gosling (La La Land), but they don’t stand a chance. Meryl Streep will be looking for her third Oscar win a she is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, but she has tough competition from in my opinion Emma Stone (La La Land), and Natalie Portman (Jackie). If I had never seen Lion, I would have given the Best Supporting Actor award to either Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) or Jeff Bridges (Hell Or High Water), but Dev Patel (Lion) could be a shoe in, but don’t count out Mahershala Ali (Moonight) either. One of the only categories I am completely unsure of is the Best Supporting Actress award which sees Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea), Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) all up for the award and each one is just as deserving as the next one. Out of all the Best Animated features, the only one I have seen is Zootopia, but somehow I think that Moana could be the serious contender.

I just feel that the rest of the awards are going to get cleaned up by La La Land like best director, cinematography, costume, film editing, music (Original Score and Original Song), Sound editing and Mixing, etc. The only problem with the awards is that I haven’t seen any of the foreign films, documentaries, and shorts. I feel I can’t really form an opinion about them, but I’ll try my best when it comes to predictions. One film that I feel deserves to win an Oscar is Doctor Strange for best visual effects because it had some amazing effects, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story could prove to be a worthy adversary. Here are the rest of my predictions for the show:

Best Picture- La La Land

Best Director- Damien Chazelle- La La Land

Best Actor- Casey Affleck

Best Actress- Emma Stone

Best Supporting Actor- Dev Patel

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Lion

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars- La La Land

Best Animated Feature- Moana

Best Production Design: La La Land

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Sound Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing- La La Land

Best Visual Effects- Doctor Strange

Best Foreign Film- Toni Erdmann

Best Make-up and Hairstyling- Star Trek Beyond

Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America

Best Live-Action Short: Ennemis Intérieurs

Best Animated Short: Piper

Best Documentary Short: Extremis