Once you get past the strange title, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one heck of an impressive film.
After her daughter’s rape and murder doesn’t receive the justice it deserves, a mother rents three billboards and brashly blames the town’s sheriff for abandoning the investigation. It’s a simple premise – one that the film wastes no time getting into – and it hooks you right from the beginning. The crime at the center of the story is horrifying, but the narrative is more concerned with showcasing its impact on a grieving mother, and the town at large after the billboards appear. The great thing about Three Billboards is that it’s especially unpredictable – the film zigs every time you expect it to zag, and it never takes the cliche approach.
As Mildred Hayes, Frances McDormand is incredible as the mother who will do anything to bring justice to her daughter’s story. Unrelenting and confrontational, she butts heads with everyone in sight and you cheer for her every step of the way. Her supporting cast is also top-notch: Woody Harrelson portrays the chief in question and he’s a wonderfully complex character, Sam Rockwell is a surprising delight as a hothead officer, and Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame has a charming subplot that adds some welcome lightheartedness to the proceedings.
Three Billboards isn’t for everyone. If the above subject matter disturbs you, then I might encourage you to skip this film, but this is a story that’s well worth watching.
A dark but captivating story that’s elevated to another level thanks to
Frances McDormand’s brilliant performance.