Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand as Willoughby and Mildred, respectively, in the Martin McDonagh written and directed crime drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017)

The ninth and final film to make the grade for the Best Picture nominee list is the Martin McDonagh written and directed crime drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

With an outstanding cast featuring Frances McDormandWoody HarrelsonSam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones and Kerry Condon, the film revolves around a mother’s personal challenge to see justice for her murdered daughter.


As of 12 Jan. 2018, it has been reported the McDonagh film has grossed over $87 million worldwide. Considering McDonagh has been praised for both writing and directorial skills, it is bitterly disappointing the Academy Awards only choose to recognise him with a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

With all the effort that went into directing this film, McDonagh should have picked up a Best Director nomination. Having already been responsible for directing “Six Shooter” (2004), “In Bruges” (2008) and “Seven Psychopaths” (2012), we are not talking about someone fresh to the rodeo.

Despite the lack of directorial recognition for McDonagh, in addition to Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, the writer / director did see his creation pick up nominations for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score.


Based on the reaction the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, the Phoenix Film Critics Society, the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association and the Women Film Critics Circle had to McDormand’s performance, there is a good chance the actress could pick up the Academy Award for Best Actress.

The quality of McDormand’s contribution to the film goes along way to establishing “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” as a real Best Picture contender.

Even though there was no mention of a Best Actor nomination for cast members of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” both Harrelson and Rockwell have both made the Best Supporting Actor nominations list.

Does anyone know of an instance where two actors from the same film where nominated in the same Academy Award category?

While this is not the same occurrence, in 1944, Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for his performance of Father Fitzgibbon in the Leo McCarey directed musical dramedy “Going My Way.” Even though the actor had been nominated for the same role in two distinct categories, Fitzgerald was successful in picking up the latter of the two mentioned awards. Then there are of course actors and actresses that have been recognised for their performances in two different productions.

Even though the actress was not successful in picking up either award, in 2007, Cate Blanchett was recognised with nominations for both Best Actress for her title role performance in the Shekhar Kapur directed biographical period drama “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and Best Supporting Actress for playing Jude in the Todd Haynes directed biographical music drama “I’m Not There.

In each instance where an actor or actress has been nominated for both acting awards, whether it be Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor or Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress, the person in question has either been unsuccessful with picking up an award or has only seen success with one of the two categories.

As for two actors nominated for the same production in the same category at the same awards ceremony, Harrelson and Rockwell being nominated for Best Supporting Actor seems a first. If anyone knows of an instance where this has occurred, please feel free to comment.

With two actors representing “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in the Best Supporting Actor category, one must question what the people at the Academy Awards where thinking when they complied the lists. Would it not be a fairer system to only recognise one actor and or actress in any given category from a production? If there are five nominees, each person should represent a different production.

For Best Original Score and Best Film Editing, Carter Burwell and Jon Gregory were nominated, respectively, for their work on “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

With 98 credits to his name, Burwell has a well-established reputation for providing television and film productions with quality music.

While Burwell’s music can be heard in such television productions as “And the Band Played On” (1993), “CBS Schoolbreak Special” (1995), “Mildred Pierce” (2011) and “Olive Kitteridge” (2014), the film editor is currently working on the yet-to-be-released six-part television mini-series “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

Further to the television mini-series, it is been announced the composer will be creating the atmospheric musical tones for the Bill Condon directed horror film “Bride of Frankenstein.” If the composer brings the same level of excellence to this horror film as he has done with previous productions he has worked on, there is no doubt Burwell will see future award nominations to his name.

Without the careful hands of a qualified film editor, all the effort the cast and crew of a production put into making their film what it is would have been for nought.

In the case of Gregory, the film editor has currently worked on as many as 43 productions.

Beginning in the late 1970s – early 1980s with the television shows “Play for Today,” “Open All Hours” and “The Nation’s Health,” the editor quickly graduated to more dramatic material with the Simon Moore written 1989 mini-series “Traffik.”

Although the film editor has occupied the editorial chair for several well-made television productions, one should not ignore the fact is contribution to the film industry has been every bit as impressive as the work he has done for the small screen.

If you look at Gregory’s contribution to the big screen, you will see such titles as “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994), “Beautiful Creatures” (2000), “Killing Me Softly” (2002), “The Proposition” (2005) and “Mr. Turner” (2014) as part of his editorial work.

Occupying the film editor’s chair, Gregory is currently working on the Mike Leigh written and directed period drama “Peterloo.” As a point of interest, “Peterloo” is scheduled for release later this year.

When it comes to Best Picture, every aspect of a production must be considered before the award can be made. Considering it is the top category award, one should be mindful of every detail. Nothing should go unscrutinised. If all the Best Picture nominees are truly worthy of the Academy Awards’ top award statuette, the people charged with determining the outcome will find their work exceedingly difficult this year.