Sam Rockwell has carved out a career filled with critically acclaimed performances, and now he’s an Oscar winner thanks to his work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Rockwell thanked late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman as he closed his acceptance speech, and during the backstage interviews he elaborated on why Hoffman meant so much to him.
“He was a great inspiration and a great theater director,” said Rockwell. “He was a bit of a jock. He was a wrestler. He played basketball. He inspired me and I could go on for an hour about Philip Seymour Hoffman. (He) was a good friend and a huge inspiration on me.”
Click on the media bar to hear Rockwell talk about the work (which he describes as a souffle) that was involved in crafting his character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Sam Rockwell gave one of 2017’s best performances as a racist cop in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and he was celebrated for his work with a Golden Globe Award. After delivering his speech, Rockwell went backstage to mention one important aspect he forgot to mention.
“I forgot to thank my fellow nominees up there on the stage so I wanted to thank them and say I am honored and humbled to be in there company,” said Rockwell who will next be seen with Jessica Chastain in Woman Walks Ahead.
On any other year, whether Rockwell will win an Oscar for his supporting role should be the main topic of conversation, but there is a huge sea change in Hollywood when it comes to sexual harassment, and Rockwell chimed in on how men can play an even more important role in the conversation.
Welcome to Ebbing, Missouri, the not-so-serene small town where Mildred Haynes has had enough. The tough-as-nails mother, played by Frances McDormand, has an epiphany while passing by a trio of dilapidated billboards on the road near her remote home. She pools what money she has to call out the local police department who have failed to solve the rape and murder of her daughter and thus sets the stage for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Mildred is a force of nature, channeling her grief and guilt over her daughter’s death into a singular focus, lighting a fire under the local police force who have seemingly let the case go cold. But the billboards also unleash a chain reaction of pain within the town, where the beloved police chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) sadly has no response for the grieving but unforgiving Mildred, who doesn’t flinch upon Willoughby’s revelation that he’s dying of cancer. As Mildred sees it, her move should only ignite him to solve the case before he passes.
The billboards also turn the local police force, some of the town’s citizens and leaders and even her own son (Lucas Hedges) against her and put her in the crosshairs of her physically abusive ex-husband (John Hawkes), who unwittingly helped to fund the billboards.
But while the film hinges on the case, writer / director Martin McDonagh makes it less about the whodunit and more about how each of the flawed and broken characters in the film deal with the hands they’ve been dealt. McDermott’s dogged determination takes her down a very dark path until a realization from the most unlikely of sources helps her start to turn a corner. Willoughby’s journey also proves to be a turning point for Mildred as well as his dim, short-tempered officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), who arguably makes the biggest strides within the film’s time span.
While the subject matter is definitely dark and the characters flawed, the performances are outstanding. McDormand, who McDonagh had in mind while writing the role, is as close to a shoe-in as there is for a Best Actress nod, while Harrelson and Rockwell have been getting supporting actor talk and even some early accolades. You can also look for the film to be in the hunt for Best Picture when the Oscar nominees are announced, as this murder mystery isn’t your typical formulaic film.
Coco was the #1 movie during the Thanksgiving Day weekend (November 24-26) with a $49 million take. Justice League, which has suffered from bad reviews and poor word of mouth, was close behind with $40.7 million. Wonder had a second solid weekend with $22.3 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. Coco – Sure to be nominated for an Oscar, this highly praised animated flick makes $49 million.
2. Justice League – $40.7 million
3. Wonder – Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson headlined flick collects $22.3 million
4. Thor: Ragnarok – $16.7 million
5. Daddy’s Home 2 – $13.2 million
6. Murder on the Orient Express – Considering it cost $55 million, the picture has done well with a $175 million gross. This weekend it takes in $13 million.
7. The Star – $6.8 million
8. A Bad Moms Christmas – $5 million
9. Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Denzel Washington flick bombs with just $4.5 million
10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Fox Searchlight drama which will be remembered come awards season makes $4.4 million.
Getting a bunch of revered DC superheroes should have guaranteed that Justice League would have set the box office world on fire, but unfortunately that was not meant to be. Although it made $96 million domestically, Justice League’s failure to surpass the $100 million mark was a huge disappointment for Warner Bros. Coming in second was the Julia Robertsfamily drama Wonder which had a solid $27 million debut. The top 10:
1. Justice League – $96 million
2. Wonder – A surprise hit with Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. $27 million
3. Thor: Ragnarok – It makes $21.7 million and to date has grossed over $247 million domestically.
4. Daddy’s Home 2 – $14.8 million
5. Murder on the Orient Express – It collects $13.8 million in its second weekend and it currently has a worldwide gross of $140 million. Not bad considering its relatively modest $55 million budget!
6. The Star – Animated flick on the Nativity Story has a lackluster debut with $10 million.
7. A Bad Moms Christmas – $6.8 million
8. Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig indie with Saoirse Ronan takes in $2.5 million
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – $1.1 million