Frances McDormand, Muse


Lately I’ve been feeling conflicted about how much I enjoyed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Having read a lot of the critical backlash, I can now see how writer and director Martin McDonagh’s engagement with racism is glib and manipulative. But I have to admit that while watching Three Billboards, the only thing I perceived as seriously off-key was the setting. I kept thinking it was set in some small western town, near a coast, but then a character would say something about being in “the south” and I would have to recalibrate. More than once, I had to remind myself of the film’s title in order to get my bearings. This admittedly, is a pretty big problem for a film to have, but I felt like the whole thing was made coherent—or at least was made to seem coherent—by Francis McDormand’s leading performance. Continue reading “Frances McDormand, Muse”