Tag Archives: Zeljko Ivanek

Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

via impawards

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for me felt like an examination of how deep the connection a mother has with her children and how far she’s willing to go for them. In the film, Frances McDormand’s character Mildred Hayes boldly put up three billboards that questions the authority for seemingly not doing anything about her daughter’s murder.

McDormand’s portrayal of grief – misplaced or not – that is not only seen but felt. It is so palpable on screen it makes you feel her anger and frustrations. All of her solo scenes are nothing short of sublime.

 

Then there’s Dixon – a xenophobe police officer in Ebbing. I’ve to admit that I was a bit uncomfortable with Sam Rockwell’s character. A portrayal which reminded me so much of his evil character ‘Wild Bill’ in The Green Mile. He was so effective here that his character angers me so much..

It’s funny that this picture so thoughtfully reminded me of the very divided America now under Donald Trump. Dixon (Rockwell) feels like a personification of what everything Donal Trump represents pre-reading the letter Chieft Willoughby have written for him.

This isn’t just about the fight of Mildred Hayes for justice. I want to believe that this goes deeper than that. This is a representation on apathy and how evil humans could get. Was I convinced by that ending? By Dixon’s redemption? Not quite, but as Chief Willoughby told Dixon thru a letter – all we need is love. Cringy but worth contemplating.

Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Željko Ivanek, Amanda Warren, Peter Dinklage, Kathryn Newton, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving, Clarke Peters, Brendan Sexton III
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The film received seven nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for McDormand and Best Supporting Actor nominations for Harrelson and Rockwell at the 90th Academy Awards.

Review: School Ties (1992)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

With future Hollywood biggies assembling the cast of this 1992 film, it’s perhaps one of those good “School Movies” to come-out pre-Harry Potter era. Nah, it isn’t like that at all. This is a story of anti-Semitism and elitism if you may consider it so. Brendan Fraser plays David Green, a working class Jewish teenager who got himself a football scholarship in his senior year to an exclusive school in Massachusetts. Here, David meets his team mates who are part of the “upper echelon” and have shown Jewish prejudice that made David uncomfortable in so many ways.

 We also have here the evil Matt Damon who plays Charlie Dillon whom David replaces as the blocker in the team which totally pisses the former off. To add salt to the injury, he also loses his girlfriend to David. Ouch!

 The whole thing didn’t explode in there though – after being harassed for his religion, he was also scrutinized for cheating on a final exam as Dillon exploits his influence to encourage everyone in the school honor system committee to oust Green.

 You see, it was actually a well written plot for a feel good “redemption movie.” There were moments in the book that you’d take the punch for David, like you want to give it good to Dillon. Oh, Did I mention that we also have Chris O’ Donnell and Ben Affleck here? No, they’re merely a support act. You see, it’s a delicate process figuring out where this movie really stands. Like remix Dead Poet Society / Scent Of A Woman / With Honors then add some football scholarship angle and you’d get a substandard result – that my friend is School Ties for you.

Director: Robert Mandel
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell, Randall Batinkoff, Cole Hauser, Andrew Lowery, Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, Amy Locane, Peter Donat, Michael Higgins, Ed Lauter, Peter McRobbie, Zeljko Ivanek

Rating: 8.5/10