AFS Screening Series: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture (Drama), “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” is next up in the Adirondack Film Society Screening Series at LPCA, March 16-17 at 7 pm

“THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI” is a darkly comedic tour de force by the highly regarded Irish playwright Martin McDonagh (“The Cripple of Inishmaan,” “A Behanding in Spokane”), who—as with this movie—wrote and directed the critically acclaimed films “Seven Psychopaths,” “In Bruges” and the Oscar-winning (for Best Short Film, Live Action) “Six Shooter.”

This latest work of his has already garnered several major awards and is nominated for seven Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand), Best Original Screenplay (Mr. McDonagh), Best Achievement in Film Editing (Jon Gregory), Best Original Score (Carter Burwell).and two nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell). “THREE BILLBOARDS” won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture—Drama, Best Actress (Ms. McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Mr. Rockwell) and Best Screenplay—Motion Picture, and it won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Ms. McDormand again), ditto for a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Mr. Rockwell again) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

The Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) will present “THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI” on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance by visiting lakeplacidarts.org or calling the LPCA box office at 518-523-2512; they will also be available at the door. To learn more about the Screening Series or other AFS programs, please visit www.adirondackfilmsociety.org or contact AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or -588-7275 or adirondackfilmsociety@gmail.com.

Opening Up into Something Truthfully Human

After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (played by Ms. McDormand, who has already won a Best Actress Oscar, for “Fargo”) makes a bold move, commissioning three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (three-time Academy Award nominee Harrelson, including for “The Messenger” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt”), the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon (Mr. Rockwell)—an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence—gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated.

In addition to McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Rockwell, the stellar cast features John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Željko Ivanek, Caleb Landry Jones, Clarke Peters and Samara Weaving.

What the filmmakers have to say about their work:

 “There’s something hopeful about the rage of Mildred’s character, and of single mindedness and decency of Willoughby’s character. I hope they’ll be moved and amused in places, and angry in places and I think that I hope they’re just told a great and slightly different story.”

On Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes: “I wrote ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ for Frances. There wasn’t any actress around who I thought had all of the elements that Mildred needed. She had to be a great actress and someone who’s in touch with a kind of working class sensibility. Frances brought to the role of Mildred—truth and anger and passion, integrity and honesty.”—Martin McDonagh, writer and director

“One of the great things about Martin’s writing is that you get inside these characters and you really start to care about them. At the end of the film, you feel involved and wish the story would go on. This is a story that's going to stay with you.”—Woody Harrelson, as Chief Bill Willoughby

 “This film will offer a lot of surprises and hopefully a lot of depth and feeling for audiences. Maybe they’ll see themselves in some of the characters and feel less alone in the world.”—John Hawkes, as Charlie

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is about a woman with a strong determination for change in her community because of what's happened to her personally. It has characters that you would initially judge at first but as you go on you realize the depth and dimensions to them.”—Peter Dinklage, as James

What the critics are saying:

“Martin McDonagh has freighted ‘Three Billboards’ with a tragedy that allows the performers — primarily Frances McDormand — to play to their range.”—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“As we watch this wonderful movie we’re able to see who Mildred and all the others really are, and, better still, who they may become.”—Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

“So sharply written that it cuts, the third movie from award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh is a dramedy that starts with cleverness and wit, then opens up into something truthfully human.”—Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media

“Funny, brutal and breathtakingly beautiful. Two exceptionally raw lead performances, supercharged by a bold script from Martin McDonagh, could make ‘Three Billboards’ this year’s Awards-upsetter.”—Terri White, Empire magazine

“What Martin McDonagh does offer is a consistently off-kilter view of human behavior, brought to life by a first-rate ensemble including John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones, Clarke Peters, Željko Ivanek, and Brendan Sexton III.”—Leonard Maltin

Run time: 115 mins. * Rated R (for violence, language throughout & some sexual references)

The AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues on Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, with “IN BETWEEN,” a new film from Israel by Palestinian filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud making her directorial debut. On Thursday, May 3, at 7 p.m. at LPCA, the AFS will be hosting "Old Hollywood Mud Season Murder Mystery," a participatory whodunit fundraiser. Call 518-523-3456 or e-mail adirondackfilmsociety@gmail.com for details.

And save the dates for the annual Lake Placid Film Forum, which, for the first time in its 18-year history will be held in the fall—Friday through Sunday, October 26-28, 2018!

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