Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Film Review
Actually, the title of the movie explains the premise of the movie perfectly. Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), is a divorced single mother still grieving the death of her teenage daughter.
Seven months prior, her teenage daughter Angela was brutally raped and murdered, and the investigation since has not resulted in any arrests. Angry, bitter and disappointed in the law enforcement, she will rent three billboards just outside the town of Ebbing, and on them she will write the following: “RAPED WHILE DYING,” “STILL NO ARRESTS,” “WHY, SHERIFF WILLOUGHBY?”.
This will shake up the police station in Ebbing that is led by Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) but it will also displease the racist Officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell) and thing will not go smoothly from there.
What I loved in this movie (besides the stoic and brilliant performance from Frances McDormand in the role of Mildred), is the perfect balance of grief, loss and sorrow that you’ll experience along with the humor, the empathy and the forgiveness that you’ll find while watching this movie.
You will find all that in the characters, but in the under-tones of this movie you’ll find, the racism, the ineffectiveness of the police enforcement and the rest of the problems that are troubling America right now. Martin McDonagh doesn’t actually invents the wheel with exposing those themes, but finds a way to make them meaningful without sounding condescending. You know… From an outsider’s point of view.
And when I said that there are plenty of fascinating characters, I meant it. Even in the supporting roles, Chief Willoughby and Office Dixon paint the picture of two different men on two sides of the spectrum, and both Harrelson and Rockwell deserve the same amount of praise. I was sadden to see Woody left out of the award circuit, but I’m glad Rockwell is getting the praise that he deserves, cause he was awesome here.
Lukas Hedges shines as Robbie, the depressed son of Mildred, and while watching the movie, you’ll definitely get the sense of grief and sadness that he’s experiencing in his own way since the murder of his sister. Everyone grieves in a different way, but his scenes are heartbreaking never the less. John Hawkes is undoubtedly outstanding once again even in this tiny role that he’s been given, and the same can be said of Peter Dinklage and his limited presence.
But I think that’s the word that best describes the whole movie. Heart-Braking. Because it is. Just look at the horrifying and sad –burning of the billboards scene. You’ll be sobbing like a little baby after she screams Robbbieeeeeeeeeeee while she’s trying to grab the fire extinguisher out of her son’s hands.
However… If you need a proof further about her determination, her vengeance, and her mission to get some answers, lust look at Mildred. Yes, just take a good look at her because she’s wearing the same outfit in almost every god damn scene that she’s in. The costume designer had a field trip taking care of her appearance, but there is big significance behind her jump-suit and bandana on her head.
It’s her armor in her day to day battle to get some answers. It’s practical, it’s simple and it doesn’t distract her from her mission.
All in all, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a beautifully crafted, well written, masterfully acted, thought provocative movie.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry watching it, but trust me you won’t be able to forget it.