Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a film with contradictions. It balances between comedy and tragedy. It’s a warm-hearted film about revenge and also a film about how anger destroys and consumes.
The plot in short: Mildred Hayes’ daughter has been raped and murdered. More than half a year later, the police have no leads, no suspects, and very little hope of ever catching the man who did it. Hayes refuses to accept that, so she rents three empty billboards near her home, and puts a simple, direct message on them: “Raped while dying and still no arrests. How come Chief Willoughby?”. In the process she kicks off an all-out community war.
I found the story intriguing. It was definitely not what I had expected. In fact, I liked how unexpected the whole narrative was and how open the ending was. I also liked how complex the main characters were.
The acting in this film is superb. Frances McDormand (as Mildred Hayes), Sam Rockwell (as Officer Dixon) and Woody Harrelson (as chief Willoughby) make an excellent performance. Without them, this movie wouldn’t have been this good. To me, Sam Rockwell is the most outstanding actor of the three, but they are equally important for bringing the story forward.
What I didn’t like was that some of the supporting roles seemed a bit cliché. For example; young women are portrayed as bimbos and the (white) police are homophobic, violent and racist. This is, of course, part of the black and absurd humour that signifies this film.
My rating is 5 out of 5.
If I recall right, this is the first time I’ve been to the cinema on a Monday. The ticket alert we received said that it was the film’s last week and that made “biogänget” take drastic measures (😏). I wasn’t even sure the cinema would be open for business on a Monday, but it was. And what do you know, watching a film on a Monday wasn’t much different from watching on any other day!