Ebbing, Missouri. Foggy morning. Three billboards stand abandoned by the side of a small road. Like a ghost. Martin McDonagh wastes no time setting up the scene of his third feature. After her daughter’s brutal raped and murder remains unresolved for over seven months, Mildred Hayes, a mid-western single mother rents three billboards to call the village’s police force out for their inefficiency: “Raped while dying”, “And still no arrests”, “How come Chief Willoughby?”. It is not hard to imagine that we are facing a tale of revenge, outrage and rage. But Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is far from being your typical revenge drama. This is not a story of a heroic mother courage, corrupt police officers and mean villains, you should know that ahead. This is a story that shows what we would be capable of doing in such a terrible situation. This could have been – and probably is – a real story we can all identify with.
What is – or should be – the role of movies? To entertain and distract us from our mundane lives? To inspire us? To make a positive impact on society? Cinema, like art, is not science, and thus we may never be able to find a proper consensus on what its role should be. I personally believe that our social reality should be reflected in the entertainment we consume. Which is why, at the time of post-truth, fake news, media mistrust and general political crisis, both in the United States and Europe, The Post is the movie we needed all along.
The 2018 Awards Season official kicked off tonight with what has been labeled as the most entertaining show in Hollywood: the Golden Globes. This has been a dark year for Hollywood, with hundreds of sexual harassment allegations against some of the most powerful men in the industry, and the first show of the year was marked by social protest and feminism, in speeches and most importantly wins. Tonight statement had to go beyond words and dresses, and honoring women and works portraying complex women was the best way to do it.
Let me just start by saying that chances are Molly’s Game is going to be the most disappointing movie I’m going to watch this Awards Season and that based on the critics I’ve read online, I’m either wrong about it or the critics love Aaron Sorkin too much to realize it. I had been anticipating this release ever since I heard of a movie written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jessica Chastain, whom I believe is one of the greatest actresses of her generation, despite never having won an Oscar (although she deserved it for Zero Dark Thirty). It had all the ingredients: one of the best screenwriters in the world, Aaron Sorkin, was going to be able to direct his first feature based on the thrilling real-life story of Molly Bloom.
So it’s been a week since the Oscars and to be honest, I’m still trying to recover… In fact, I was going to write an entry on my thoughts about this awards season, but the wound is still fresh (maybe next time). So instead, here is an entry on the many records smashed this awards season because yes, it’s been a good year for movies and diversity (and when I say “smashed this awards season” what I really mean is “smashed at this year’s Academy Awards and maybe some other shows”). If you type “Oscars 2017 records” or “Golden Globes 2017 records” on Google, the headline that is invariably going to appear is “La La Land receives record-tying 14 Oscar nominations” and “La La Land wins record-breaking 7 Golden Globes”. And let’s face it, for someone like me who loves La La Land (and will continue to love it until the end of time), that is really cool. But these were not the only records broken in a year unquestionably more diverse than the previous two editions of #OscarsSoWhite. So, here are some of the records and milestones of the 2017 awards season: