Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Release Year: 2017
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes, Kerry Condon, Peter Dinklage, Zeljko Ivanek, Sandy Martin, Abbie Cornish, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Amanda Warren
Rating: Won 2 Oscars: Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell). Nominated for 5 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson), Best Original Screenplay, Best Score, Best Editing. Won 4 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actress – Drama (Frances McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell). Nominated for 2 Golden Globes: Best Director, Best Original Score.
Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) challenges the local police after nothing has happened in the investigation into the murder of her daughter seven months earlier.
Martin McDonagh has a knack for combining complex drama with pitchblack humour of the highest calibre. This knack has already produced two wonderful films: In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012), the latter of which also starred Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. Three Billboards explores several themes, but particularly grief and loss and most importantly anger. As several characters remark: anger begets greater anger, and this is a theme that runs throughout the movie. The billboards of the title are born out of anger, frustration, and grief, and they initially produce more of the same. But eventually, they have redempitve effect and the community is forced to confront the things they would rather keep hidden. McDormand (Fargo, 1996) is great as an unforgiving and determined character and yet she manages to bring out her vulnerability and her deep-seated grief and regrets. One of the most commendable things about Three Billboards is its unpredictability. You constantly think you know how the movie or individual scees are going to play out and McDonagh manages to subvert our expectations at every turn. As a result of this, Sam Rockwell’s character becomes more important as the story progresses and his character arc is really the most interesting and captivating. Rockwell (Vice, 2018) is really astonishing and continues to impress. The same can be said for Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flint, 1996) who is great as chief Willoughby who is on the receiving end of the billboards’ message. A captivating drama sprinkled with deliciously dark humour. Highly recommended.
There is no town in Missouri by the name of Ebbing. The movie ws shot on location in the town of Sylva, North Carolina.
Picture Copyright: 20th Century Fox