Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★★★★½

2017 Ranking 

Watching this again, I'm definitely reminded a lot about how thinking more critically about a film on different levels is important and to distinguish between those levels, critically or otherwise, quality-wise and context-wise, can be tricky.

It's as engaging as it ever was for me, McDormand and Rockwell as brilliant as ever, and it hits every emotional beat as well as before, but I can't deny that there are also parts which brush through important issues with perhaps too much of a cursory glance. I do think there's nuance in the film with regards to its take on social issues - Dixon's arc isn't quite as extreme as one might think - but it does try to balance too many of them in one go. I was thinking this time round whether making Red Welby black (and played by say, Lakeith Stanfield) could've helped with the overall handling of the racial angle, but on the other hand, it might've not. Nevertheless I do believe the film excels best when it is focusing on the brutal messiness of grief and anger outside of the more contextual issues, and luckily I do think that is where its heart mostly lies.

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