A grieving mother determined to find her daughters killer takes things into her own hands challenging the local authorities, really grabbing everyone’s attention when she places adverts on three billboards!
Martin McDonagh first came to my attention with the incredible In Bruges which I would certainly class as one of my favourite films, everything about it I found outstanding. Therefore since then I have kept a close eye on which films he has out next, Seven Psychopaths is then followed by this one. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which has been receiving a lot of critical acclaim and very much in the Awards Season picture.
Mildred has grown extremely frustrated by the lack of effort put into her daughters case after she was murdered and raped. She comes up with a plan to get it noticed again when she buys three billboards advertisement even though it is on a road that is not often used, it kicks up a fuss and that forces more to be done about the case. Chief Willoughby who has his own issues going on must then try to keep her calm, he is actually rather sympathetic towards her. Then we have Dixon who is a horrific cop and really shouldn’t be a cop considering his background.
Obviously that is the basic plot and it has more complex moments in the film which I am not going to spoil as you really need to witness everything unfolding. It has an incredible tense feeling to it and that was something that I found to be very interesting with it all. The music placement was also something I thought was pretty well perfect, giving that country feel as well. It does manage to push the boundaries at times and that is something that you just have to love when watching films like this.
Performance wise that is where the film really stands out as Frances McDormand is truly outstanding from start to finish, her mannerisms were just brilliant and you really would not want to mess with her Mildred. A very strong woman who wasn’t afraid of standing up to all of the men who were in the way. Woody Harrelson was probably in his perfect role, managing to mix in the humour with the more serious moments. Sam Rockwell taking on another crazy role, has he been typecast in that now? He does it so very well, with the extremely creepy manner and extreme nature. Amongst that the supporting roles are good as well from Drinklage, Hawkes and Hedges.
I felt that I really enjoyed parts of the film but could not help to compare it to In Bruges, and I really didn’t think it was on that same level to be brutally honest. Certain parts of the film felt like they were just taken from that one. Don’t get me wrong though I did like this one as it dares to be different with some outstanding performances, thought-provoking moments all mixed together with some dark comedy moments as well. This one won’t be for everyone, I feel it needs to come with that warning. Oscar for McDormand?