THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI Review & Analysis

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” is officially billed as a darkly comedic drama, but it’s far more drama than comedy.  Mildred (Frances McDormand) pays for three billboards questioning the local police chief’s investigation into her daughter’s murder when the case stalls after seven months.  The murder mystery, though, is more a device than actual plot point as the case takes backseat to Mildred’s grief, actions and evolution.

The local police chief (Woody Harrelson) and detective (Sam Rockwell) are as multi-dimensional as Mildred.  However, particularly with Mildred and Detective Dixon, it’s up to viewers to decide if they are truly better versions of themselves by the end.

The movie also stars Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Caleb Landry Jones.

For more about the evolution of the characters in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri“, take a look below:

 

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All film photos are courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

SOLACE Movie Review & Analysis

SOLACE is the story of FBI Agent Joe Merriwether (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who asks his friend and former colleague John (Anthony Hopkins) for help in solving a series of bizarre murders with the use of his psychic abilities. They soon realize they’re on the hunt for Charles (Colin Farrell), another psychic, who may have abilities more powerful than John’s own. The movie also stars Abbie Cornish.

The overarching theme in SOLACE, as evidenced by the title itself, is comfort: who needs it, who gets it and who gives it.  Also, what does it mean to provide comfort to someone and how can that action mean different things?  The point of the movie, though, is for a bit of self reflection since sometimes it’s possible to gain more from the act of comforting than the recipient does.

The cinematography is really interesting in SOLACE as well. Not only are there a lot of unusual shots, but mirrored reflections are frequently used.  In traditional film analysis, when you see a character’s reflection in something it’s supposed to symbolize another side, either a piece of themselves that they might be hiding from the other characters or even from themselves.  Pay attention to the characters who wind up in mirrors or on reflected surfaces the most.

This idea of reflection and having another side is further emphasized in two other ways.  First, watch when Joe wears glasses and when he doesn’t.  Glasses, similar to a reflection, generally show that a character either has something to hide so they are like a disguise—think of Clark Kent and Superman.

For more about glasses and how religion is employed in SOLACE, take a look below:

 

—>Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

 

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