The wildest part of this year’s Oscar race wasn’t the unpredictability; it was the noise. I’ve been watching the Oscars since 1997, more than half my life now, and I don’t think there’s been a race so obfuscated by feelings over facts, by reactions to reactionaries, by minute-by-minute “momentum shifts” that never really felt like they were there. Plus, Moonlight’s historic win last year over a loved—but also hated—La La Land has given professional pundits and amateur watchers pause in predicting the picture that every indicator suggests is the winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.
It’s not Oscar season without frontrunner backlash, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is getting a lot of heat from a lot of places ever since its wins at the Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards. But then the Oscar nominations happened. Notably absent from the Best Director category was Martin McDonagh, the playwright-turned-director at the helm of the Best Picture favorite and a previous Oscar winner for his short film Six Shooter. Could it be the backlash setting in? Or maybe it’s as simple as McDonagh making a writer’s movie and not a director’s movie? Continue reading “THREE BILLBOARDS is the movie of the moment, for better or worse”