Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
There’s always an element of darkness in Martin McDonagh’s movies that resembles life in a very truthful way. Despite some of his most extravagant stories (In Bruges or Seven Psychopaths), he brings the irony of the situation to the surface and make us have a good time while witnessing how dramatic life can turn out to be.
In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, perhaps the best example of his work so far, McDonagh tells a simpler story driven by its characters, which explores what it means to grieve and how we react to pain differently. If we could describe this feature with one word it would definitely be unpredictable; it’s not something that the audience is used to experiencing. That is probably the most refreshing element of the piece, which comes as a very interesting human study, and the film (and some great directorial skills) embeds us in this small, claustrophobic town somewhere in the South of the States.
The cast is easily the best part of the movie, starting with our main protagonist. Frances McDormand plays a mother who wants justice for the killing of her daughter. McDormand’s charm and a great script makes this one of the best performances of 2017: as Mildred she is funny, complex and emotionally effective. The way in which the film develops allows the viewer to peel off all the layers of this character and easily relate to what she’s going through.
Woody Harrelson does a great job too as the police officer who needs to deal with Mildred’s claims about how the police department haven’t been able to solve this terrible crime yet, as they spend time on less important activities. Far from being cliched, Harrelson captivates us all through a character that could easily be seen as a stereotype. Instead we get an unpredictable, human and dignified man who pushes others onto the right path. On top of this, Sam Rockwell gives an incredible performance and provides an even better character arc. Some might be disappointed by the ending, but McDonagh certainly gives the story the space it deserves to reflect on the questions it poses.
For the thriller lovers and those who appreciate well-executed art, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a masterpiece that shouldn’t be missed.
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is released nationwide on 12th January 2018.
Watch the trailer for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri here: