Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
One minute into the film and I knew I was into something special. I really rate the work of Martin McDonagh. Both In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths are excellent. When I heard about this film and read the premise I felt like this could be something that would make award season waves. The film has got a stellar cast to both and does a wonderful mix of comedy and drama to drive home a piece of film that is one of the strongest of the year thus far.
The film follows a lady who rents out three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, which point fingers at the local officer Chief Willoughby, for not solving the death and rape of her teenage daughter. These ads become controversial as the chief is a beloved figure of the community and people start having mixed but strong reactions to the billboards. There is a scramble to figure out the results of the case, and the main characters all have life changing consequences of being involved.
This has to be the strongest Frances McDormand performance I have ever seen. She’s always great but this was a total embodiment of a determined and strong willed mother who perseveres, despite knowing most of the town can’t stand her guts. Woody Harrelson is typically good and we once again get a great Sam Rockwell showing once again showing how underrated he is. You become engulfed into the film and wrapped into everything that occurs.
The film has its funny moments but it also is heavy handed and deals with a devastating loss. The film remains somewhat unpredictable and while the end is a bit open ended and brings more questions than answers, it doesn’t detract from a strong written work that was satisfying to see at the tail end of the year.