Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Mini Review

“Still no arrests. How come I wonder? ‘Cause there ain’t no God and the whole world’s empty, and it doesn’t matter what we do to each other? I hope not.”

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell

Synopsis: Seven months on from the rape and murder of Mildred Hayes’ (Frances McDormand) daughter, no suspects have been found and no arrests have been made. It’s time for her to take matters into her own hands, starting by hiring three large red billboards with three bold messages: “RAPED WHILE DYING”, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?”, “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?”.

Woody Harrelson as Chief Willoughby and Frances McDormand as Mildred.

There’s much joy to be found in watching Frances McDormand’s Mildred busting up the backwater town of Ebbing, Missouri. Fictional though the town may be, its placement in the Midwestern States is purposeful, a place that’s had more than its fair share of racial tension and controversy. Ebbing acts as a melting pot of racism, police discrimination and horrific crime; exactly the kind of place you’d want to see torn down. And Mildred is just the woman to do it. With a real sense of drive, purpose and revenge, she’s portrayed with a magnificent, hard as nails, brutal bluntness by McDormand. She brings much more than just ass-kicking credentials to the role, however, giving Mildred shades and complexities that add vital depth to the character.

And this depth transfers to the antagonists as well. From the embodiment of the ineffectuality of the police force Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) to his despicable loose cannon of a colleague Dixon (Sam Rockwell). Particular credit here going to Rockwell in that he manages to give even his character – the most deplorable of imaginable people – a glimmer of humanity, deep beneath backwards layers of rage and hate. The script, with its Glengarry Glen Ross levels of creative swearing and Coen brothers degrees of quirk, still makes its characters feel human, avoiding caricature and instead opting for heft and intelligence. Something which the all-round excellent cast thrives on. It’s a perfect example of script and performance working hand in hand beautifully.

Rating (out of 5):

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. alexraphael says:

    Can you see it wining Best Picture? The acting really was sensational. Rockwell in partiuclar is just extraordinary. He does give him humanity that seems near impossible. What a fantastic idea to have those three billboards as a start up premise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      I’d love it to win, though it’s a tricky one to predict this year. Rockwell is surely in with a great shot though! A fantastic premise brilliantly executed.

      Like

      1. alexraphael says:

        I can’t see him not winning it. Remember him well from Moon

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Luke Kent says:

        I love Moon SO MUCH!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your review. I have everything crossed that Rockwell wins the Oscar, he deserves it for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      Thank you! He would definitely be a worthy winner, he’s absolutely fantastic!

      Like

  3. Jay says:

    I loved this movie so much – I saw it back at its world premiere in Aug\Sept and it has really stayed with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      Nice, I’ve been recommending it left, right and centre since watching it, fantastic film!

      Like

  4. Dan O. says:

    Well-acted across the board. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luke Kent says:

      Thanks! Rockwell for the win at the Oscars!

      Like

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