“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage. Released on November 10, 2017, the film is about a single mother who uses billboards to shame the police for not finding her daughter’s murderer.
The film is directed by Martin McDonagh, who also directed In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. It is that time of year again, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, we are indeed two weeks away from seeing the new Star Wars movie, but more importantly (for major film fanatics), we are getting close to the major award nomination announcements. Which means it’s time for me to look at some of the films that are getting a lot of awards buzz this year, starting with this latest black comedy from director Martin McDonagh. The film has been getting a lot of praise due to its screenplay, direction, and the performances from the cast, but how does it look in my eyes? Honestly, it was very interesting, but it was also pretty darn amusing.
One of the best aspects of this film has to be Frances McDormand’s brilliant performance as Mildred Hayes, a snarky divorced mother whose crazy idea affected the entire town of Ebbing in a negative way. She absolutely nailed every scene that she’s in, whether they’re dramatic or comical. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell also delivered some great performances as Sheriff Bill Willoughby and Jason Dixon, respectively, but none of them came close to McDormand. McDonagh’s other films have a knack of mixing in dark comedy with some brutal drama, and this one is no different. The way he executes this type of mixture is remarkably solid without any signs of unbalance. I think the one that I enjoyed the most was the comedy aspect, which comes from McDonagh’s cunning and affective screenplay. There were definitely a few parts that made me laugh, although I do feel that it might not be for everyone due to the film's concept and coarse language. The only flaw I had with it, in my opinion, was the ending. It’s not entirely bad, it’s just that there should be more to the ending than what they have now.
Overall, “Three Billboards” is hilarious and brutal in some cases, but it is also well-acted and remarkably entertaining. While the ending could’ve been expanded a bit more, it’s not as bothersome as how the messages on the three billboards bothered the police. Strong performances, a solid blend of comedy and drama, and McDonagh’s screenplay makes this a suitable competitor in the awards race. If you’re a fan of McDonagh’s other works or some of the actors that are in the film, it’s worth checking out.