If the law isn’t willing to help you, can you take justice into your own hands? This is one of the main themes of Martin McDonagh’s new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
When Mildred Hayes’ (Frances McDormand) daughter is murdered in their small town, she becomes frustrated with the lack of progress in the investigation and decides to take let the police know she’s angry. And does she ever.
Mildred decides to rent three billboards outside the town which calls out the police chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) and causes the town to go wild, with townspeople trying to decide if they stand with Mildred or the police. Trying to interfere with Mildred’s billboards is Officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), who is Willoughby’s incompetent second in command.
Three Billboards was the big winner at the Toronto International Film Festival, taking home the People’s Choice Award and it’s easy to see why. The film is a perfect example of how to make a great dark comedy, and also portrays social issues that are relevant to current events, such as police brutality.
The film also features amazing performances from its cast, especially its three main characters. Frances McDormand gives an astounding performance as Mildred, drawing the viewer in with her quest for justice. McDormand will definitely be getting Oscar buzz for this performance. Woody Harrelson is marvelous as Chief Willoughby, a character you sympathize with and understand what’s keeping him from solving the case. Another actor deserving of Oscar buzz is Sam Rockwell who gives a great performance as the bumbling Dixon. The character is so unlikeable due to his racist and bigoted ways yet he somehow manages to slightly redeem himself in the end.
Thanks to its big win at TIFF, Three Billboards is definitely heading into this awards season as one of the front-runners thanks to its amazing performances and powerful story.
Fox Searchlight Pictures releases Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in Toronto on Friday, November 17, 2017
[Review by Jennifer King]