Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017 dir. Martin McDonagh)


Frances McDormand in the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

10 months after the rape and murder of her teenage daughter Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) decides to put up three posters on unused billboards outside her town. These billboards confront the local police, in particular the much loved police chief William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) angering his idiotic deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) and the townsfolk. What proceeds are unforeseeable darkly humorous scenes between Mildred and all who get in her way.

The film is good, crisply written and performed by the three leading actors, with McDormand being nominated for a best actress Oscar. However the content is over reliant on the main protagonist’s story and as a consequence fails to explore the racial issues which the film makes fleeting references to. This, in my opinion is careless, and will not sit well with many in the audience. Mildred is amoral, we get that, but the plot’s halfhearted mention of racism and police brutality seems like a very shallow accessory used to decorate the plot rather than establish any kind of dialogue.

Nonetheless, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is worth watching. It is very funny and will have you laughing with out question one minute and teary eyed the next.

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