Saturday 17 March 2018

Three Billboards to close film festival dominated by Weinstein scandal

Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson will be among the stars at the premiere.

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Oscar-tipped film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will close the BFI London Film Festival tonight, after allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein threatened to overshadow the 12-day celebration of cinema.

Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage and Woody Harrelson are among the stars expected to walk the red carpet at the Odeon Leicester Square for the closing night gala, alongside the film’s British director Martin McDonagh – who was behind cult hit In Bruges.

In the movie, McDormand plays a mother furious that months have passed without police tracking down a culprit in her daughter’s murder.

In her anger, she pays for three billboards leading into her town with a message directed at the chief of police, played by Harrelson.

The festival has seen a host of Hollywood stars descend on the capital for premieres of their films; including Emma Stone for Battle Of The Sexes; Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer; Annette Bening and Jamie Bell for Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool and Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy for Andy Serkis’s directorial debut Breathe.

Battle of the Sexes Premiere – BFI London Film Festival 2017

However, the unfolding allegations against disgraced producer Weinstein have dominated the tail end of the celebration.

Bening told the Press Association she hopes the number of women coming forward with stories will be a “tipping point” for change, while Farrell branded the allegations “atrocious”.

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool – BFI London Film Festival 2017

Armie Hammer, who was in town for the premiere of his film Call Me By Your Name, praised the bravery of the women telling their stories – while director Alexander Payne, who was unveiling his film Downsizing starring Matt Damon, said Weinstein “was asking for” his downfall.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will be released in UK cinemas on January 12, 2018.

Press Association

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