“The thing about dwarfs,” explains Martin McDonagh, “is that it’s better to write a well-rounded dwarf than no dwarf at all.” This is not a creative motto you hear every day, but the director and playwright seems committed to living by it. One of the more memorable supporting characters in his first film, In Bruges, was a four-foot-tall, drug-snuffling, womanising racist, while one of his early short stories, set in Elizabethan times, follows a writer of diminutive stature who is locked up and forced to ghost-write plays for Shakespeare, without credit.
In this particular case he is talking about James, a used car salesman played by the Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, and a resident of Ebbing, Missouri, the fictional one-horse dump where his latest film plays out. James is kindly, stoic, and more than a little in love with Mildred Hayes, the heroine of the piece, who’s played by Frances...
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