Tag: 2017

Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

*** (out of 4)

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

This year’s award for Most Misleading Movie Marketing Campaign goes to whoever was put in charge of publicizing Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. If you were just going by the trailer, you’d think you were in for an inspiring “social justice” movie about a sassy, badass woman (played by the redoubtable Frances McDormand no less) who takes on a group of racist, image-obsessed cops who don’t care about her daughter’s murder. Thanks to the apt insertion of a few images of burning buildings, fistfights, and defenestrations, moreover, McDonagh’s work almost comes off looking like an only slightly less flamboyant spin-off of Kill Bill.

The real Three Billboards is many things – but badass and inspiring certainly aren’t among them.

Reviews - New Releases

Reviews - New Releases

Image courtesy of Kino Lorber.

*** (out of 4)

(NOTE: This review originally appeared here.)

Pop quiz: which Western nation was the last to grant suffrage to women? You might be inclined to guess the U.S. (since, after all, it took our ancestors way too long to get the 19th Amendment written up) or a socially-conservative country like Italy. But the correct answer is actually Switzerland – the supposedly progressive paradise that regularly ranks near the top of just about every quality-of-life ranking out there. Swiss women, it turns out, only gained suffrage after a 1971 referendum on the subject came out in their favor; in some cantons, moreover, they weren’t allowed to fully exercise this privilege until after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The fact that a “developed” nation took so long to undertake such a basic reform is an anomaly just begging for an explanation. And in The Divine Order, Petra Volpe tries to provide one through the fictional (but based on reality) story of Nora (Marie Leuenberger), a woman who undergoes a political and emotional awakening in the lead-up to the 1971 vote.

Reviews - New Releases