I saw "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" yesterday.
Not an easy film to watch: very hard-hitting, violent, heart-wrenching.
It's like a study in dramatic escalation and tension and release.
I remember a lot of gamers feeling dissatisfied a while back (maybe ten years ago?) with games which just took you from conflict to conflict to conflict, without much breathing room.
Well, large chunks of this movie do precisely that, and they do it *extremely well*. One punch in the gut after another. I'd love to play a game with that kind of drive. Each subsequent conflict escalates a previous one in a way which is both surprising and creative and yet also flows naturally from what came before.
At the same time, though, there's a fascinating (at least to me) balance of scenes which release tension, provide slow contemplative moments, or create emotional relief. The ending is quite interesting in that regard, allowing the viewer to finish the story in their own way somewhat.
Walking out of that movie I couldn't help but think of game design.