Today I would like to invite you to watch “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.
This movie, currently in the cinemas, is the Golden Globe winner for the best picture and the Oscars nominee. I saw it recently and it made an impact on me, so I decided to recommend it to you. This article won’t have spoilers so you can keep reading. :)
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” was directed by Martin McDonagh, “young” (born in 1970) British-Irish known for its previous films: “In Bruges” (from 2008) and “Seven Psychopaths” (from 2012). He is recognisable for his tendency to blend genres. He is also a screenwriter of all of his movies, including his last one.
McDonagh made the public wait 5 years, but in my opinion, and judging by the film’s popularity, it was worth it. The movie has already been appreciated by the movie industry winning 4 Golden Globes in crucial categories: Best Motion Picture - Drama; Best Screenplay - Motion Picture (for Martin McDonagh); Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (for incredible Frances McDormand) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (for Sam Rockwell).
The film is neither a drama nor a comedy. It’s a tragicomedy. An intelligent, sad yet true mirror that reflects on how people react while put in difficult situations.
Although the topic of the movie is weighty, the director managed to smuggle moments of laughter. I cannot say that all, but most of the gags are well-written. Therefore even when the situation on the screen is tense or dramatic, some gags make you giggle and these comedic moments feel natural and not overthought. All that thanks to the smart script and sharp dialogs as well as thanks to the outstanding group of actors!
“RAPED WHILE DYING”
“AND STILL NO ARRESTS?”
“HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?”
Those are the words that Mildred Hayes (played by Frances McDormand) decided to write on 3 roadside billboards, outside Ebbing, a little town in the State of Missouri, in the USA.
It’s been 7 months since her daughter Angela was raped and killed. Mildred, still in rage and despair after this tragedy, cannot understand why the police didn’t bring her justice. She is bitter, full of anger and is driven by her need for revenge. She is persuaded that very little was done in the case. Not only no one was persecuted, but also there were no suspects, no arrests. And the police focuses on “torturing black folks rather than solving actual crimes”.
We shouldn’t forget that all happens in a small town with its small community. So when Mildred sets up a war with the beloved chief of the local Police, people take sides.
There are several aspects of the “Three Billboards (…)” that I particularly like.
First of all, not only main characters, but also those peripheral to the story, have depth and are not black-or-white. They feel realistically developed and portrayed. They are nasty one moment, and kind the next. With the time passing by, we get the opportunity to understand them better, and we notice their complexity and layers.
Additionally, the story of the movie develops. It begins as a narrow and focused one-person drama. But the story naturally develops into bigger and more general themes. It shows the community and reflects on its fears, limitations, and sometimes narrow-minded ideas.
And those outstanding performances!
Mildred Hayes played by Frances McDormand. You really feel the pain she has inside, her loss, her rage. She is an appreciated actress, but she lacks mainstream popularity.
Frances was nominated to Oscars Academy Award four times - for “Mississippi Burning” (1988), “Fargo” (1996), “Almost Famous” (2000) and “North Country” (2005). She won the Oscars, for the Best Actress, thanks to Fargo – an iconic movie by Joel and Ethan Coen. Many highlights that this is her best performance and that she is a front runner for this year Academy Award.
The chief of the Police Bill Willoughby played by Woody Harrelson. Tough, “typical” officer at a first glance.
For those of you who don’t know him, he has received two Oscars nominations: for “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (2006) where he played a controversial founder of the “Hustler” magazine and then for a role in “The Messenger” (2009).
Officer Dixon played by Sam Rockwell, simple, narrow-minded, filled with uncontrolled anger policeman who uses pressure and fear in order to gain respect.
Rockwell has played in many movies, but mostly the supporting roles. This role definitely is his top achievement, already appreciated by the industry as he was awarded Golden Globe for it!
And the last but not the least - James, episodic character played by great Peter Dinklage, better known for his role as Tyrion Lannister in the “Game of Thrones”.
To sum up, I absolutely recommend watching “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. This is definitely the film to experience this year. The best I can do is to invite you to watch the movie and judge it yourself!