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Podcast Episode 131: A Pair Of Films To Be Thankful For

Appreciating ‘Three Billboards’ and Doug Jones in ‘The Shape of Water’

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Fox Searchlight

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and "The Shape of Water" are two films to be thankful for.

Episode 131: Films To Be Thankful For

For Thanksgiving here are two films to be thankful for: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and "The Shape of Water." Filmmaker Martin McDonagh talks about creating a role for Frances McDormand in "Three Billboards" and suit actor Doug Jones describes the challenges of wearing a creature costume and making it come to life in Guillermo Del Toro's "The Shape of Water."

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Transcript

It's Thanksgiving and I have a pair of films that I am feeling very thankful for right now: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and "The Shape of Water." Filmmaker Martin McDonagh talks about writing a film for Frances McDormand and Doug Jones talks about suit acting for Guillermo Del Toro.

Last year I did a podcast asking people to pick a film they were thankful for. This year for Thanksgiving I want to show my appreciation for just two films that you can see in theaters: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (currently in theaters) and "The Shape of Water" (opening Dec. 8).

"Three Billboards" is one of the best films of the year. The main reason it deserves thanks is for the role director Martin McDonagh created for actress Frances McDormand and the way she devours the part. McDonagh wrote the role of Mildred, an angry mom who wants the local sheriff to do more to catch her daughter's killer, specifically for McDormand but without her knowing anything about it. So when he gave her the script he had no idea if she would actually take the part.

McDonagh said she loved the script but felt she might be too old to play Mildred. Thankfully, McDormand's husband Joel Coen convinced her to dismiss her doubts and take the role. McDonagh crafts a perfect character for McDormand, one that taps into her unique ability to play a character with clear-eyed honesty and a lack of sentimentality. McDormand doesn't care if you like her character but she does want to deliver a performance that is real, complex, and riveting.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Fox Searchlight

Suit actor Doug Jones works with filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro yet again to bring a creature to vivid life in "The Shape of Water."

Another performer who is also worthy of thanks and praise is suit-actor Doug Jones. Jones has donned elaborate costumes in collaborations with filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, giving us creatures like Abe Sapien in the "Hellboy" films as well as the Faun and Pale Man in "Pan's Labyrinth." Next month he appears as an amphibious man in Del Toro's "The Shape of Water."

For this podcast I speak with McDonagh about creating a strong female lead and working with McDormand; and I speak with Jones about the challenges of creating a character underneath make up and a rubber suit.

So this Thanksgiving let's give thanks for a pair of amazing films and their uniquely gifted performers.

It's Thanksgiving and I have a pair of films that I am feeling very thankful for right now: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and "The Shape of Water." Filmmaker Martin McDonagh talks about writing a film for Frances McDormand and Doug Jones talks about "suit acting" for Guillermo Del Toro.

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