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  1. Published on: 20/11/2017 01:35 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A mother challenges the local police department to solver the mystery of the murder of her daughter, after their initial failure of catching the culprit.

    Since debuting at the Venice Film Festival, the amount of buzz and praise for this has made this the Oscar front-runner.
    From the last few years, the first film labelled as the favourite to win Best Picture usually does not win as the level of hype surrounding eventually wears off.

    That being said, I was still hugely excited to see Martin McDonagh's newest feature.

    Ever since seeing the brilliant dark comedy 'In Bruges', I have been highly impressed by his tone and style of entertainment. The next film he did was 'Seven Psycopaths' and while it didn't match my love for his previous work, it was still a brilliantly written and entertaining film.

    His newest feature is a wonderful piece of work. While understanding early on that the story is sad and depressing, you just can't help yourself laugh at the dark gags that are taking place.
    You get instantly invested with the characters and they all have a such a strong presence. The gags keep working, the story is developing so well, and there are even some of the most shocking imagery you will see in any film this year as well.

    The acting across the board is phenomenal. Give Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell the Oscar for Best Leading Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively. McDormand is an absolute bad-*** in her role. It is no-nonsense, gets straight to the point and is right up there with the strongest female characters of all-time. As for Sam Rockwell, he has always been seen as one of the best supporting actors of our generation, and I think this could very well be his crowning achievement. The development that his character has in this film to wonderful to see and the end product is the films shining star.
    Woody Harrelson is having quite a surge in bringing his A-game in the last few years, and this is another memorable outing for his Hollywood legend. There are plenty of other memorable performances in the minor roles. One huge stand-out was Peter Dinklage. Every thing he did stole the show in whatever scene he was in.
    It was great to see Caleb Landry Jones in another big project. Since his breakthrough in X-Men: First Class, he has been appearing in big projects on a more consistent basis this year.
    Other notable performances came from Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving and McDonagh regular Zeljko Ivanek.

    Despite the film concentrating more on the performances and writing, a fair amount of the technical side is noticeably strong. The cinematography by Ben Davis is really well done, especially at the time when there is some long-tracking shots.
    I was really surprised by the score by Carter Burwell. It almost plays out like a western in certain scenes and felt like a welcomed addition to enhancing certain scenes.

    I don't have any major negatives. However, I wasn't too hot about the ending. I have warmed to it eventually and understood what the director was going for. But in the moment of watching it, it kind of disappointed me.

    But as I have come to terms with it, I feel that it is wonderfully crazy. McDonagh is a master of balancing the tones of hilarious comedy with lots of clever uses of swearing as well as dark and shocking drama. He pulls off the timing of the transition between those emotions perfectly. It's mad to think how much and enjoyment you can get out of a story that is actually rather dark and depressing.

    I can definitely see winning a healthy amount of major awards, and this could be the film I'll be supporting during awards season.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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