Two great things happened at once: I activated Tom Waits Mode and was downtown long enough to visit Videodrome again. So I have rented two new-to-me Tom Waits movies, and one I haven’t seen in almost thirty years. Here’s one that nobody I know has seen, landing in between McDonagh’s In Bruges and Three Billboards. It’s the perfect connection between those two, with Colin from Bruges, Woody and Rockwell from Billboards, and all the bad behavior from those movies (violence, sexism) with some meta- distance (Farrell is a screenwriter named Marty, criticized for all his violence and sexism).

Michaels Pitt and Stuhlbarg are killed as a gag before I even recognized them. Christopher Walken kidnaps dogs for the reward money, with Rockwell’s help, has a sweet wife in hospital, and I don’t think he’s even a psychopath. Waits plays a bonus psycho, always carrying a white rabbit, eager to tell the screenwriter his story. He’s seeking his partner in crime from back in the 1970’s when they used to be serial killers of serial killers. Unfortunately, in the flashback where she leaves him after burning Zodiac alive, he’s played by a younger actor, but I think the rabbit makes up for Tom’s minimal screen time.

From the advertising this looked like an amoral violent comedy with the funniest dialogue of the year, but it turned out to be a deep story about forgiveness with the funniest dialogue of the year. According to the Internet, the movie is actually racist, anti-feminist, and not deep at all, so I am wrong, but I had a great time.

Frances McDormand wants to shame sheriff Woody Harrelson into continuing the search for her daughter’s killer, but Woody is dying of cancer and finally kills himself, causing the town to turn on Frances. Sam Rockwell, a horrible racist cop working for Woody, who badly beats Caleb Landry Jones (playing a nice guy for once), is fired by new chief Clarke Peters, then tries to do the right thing for once by helping Frances. Lucas Hedges, having a big year, is Frances’s son, John Hawkes her ex, Peter Dinklage her partner in crime, and Abbie Cornish Woody’s wife.

“I hope your midget doesn’t kill himself. Your dream sequence will be fucked.”

Kinda darker than I thought it would be, even knowing it’s about hitmen. Lotta killing of kids, midgets and likeable main characters. Funny dialogue… can’t compare to Hot Fuzz, but what can?

Gleeson and Farrell are hit men hiding out (cuz Farrell accidentally shot a kid while killing a priest), sent to Bruges by boss man Raifffiennes, who it turns out wants Gleeson to kill Farrell. Gleeson decides to let him go and face the consequences, which are death by shooting then falling off a bell tower. A Raifff/Farrell shootout results in four bullets in C.F., one dead dwarf, one Raifff suicide, and a parting shot by Farrell guessing that if hell is like Bruges, he wants to live.

Along the way Farrell meets a pretty girl, wounds her skinhead boyfriend (star of L’Enfant, didn’t recognize him without all the blond), offends the landlady, and befriends the dwarf (rad, it’s the guy who played Howard The Duck). Dwarf is appearing in a local film with lots of dream sequences, Raifff has buncha dialogue about Bruges being a fairy-tale place, there’s some afterlife/purgatory business, and apparently it’s all a homage to Don’t Look Now, which I haven’t seen. Anyway, very enjoyable flick.

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