BY ANGELA MURPHY ––
Set in Ebbing, Missouri, a mother’s determination to seek justice for her daughter’s gruesome death is portrayed through a string of profanity, rage and finally action.
Director Martin McDonagh pieced together a film that gives no mercy to the emotion of a mother who has lost her daughter. A mother who trusted the authorities of Ebbing, Missouri to solve the case and put her daughter’s rapist and killer behind bars, but in the end failed to do so.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” takes place in a town where everyone knows everyone and their business.
The film begins with actress Frances McDormand who plays Mildred, the lead snarky character who is just as rough on the inside as she looks on the outside. With her hair pulled up and kept in place by a bandana and wearing what looks like a mechanic’s jumpsuit, Mildred is a force to be reckoned with. Furious that her daughter’s murder hasn’t been solved, Mildred puts up three billboards just outside of town demanding answers.
“How Come, Chief Willoughby?”
“Still no arrests?”
“Raped while dying”.
Despite their sympathy towards her situation, the community took these billboards personally because of their love for their chief of police (Woody Harrelson), and sought out to show their distain for Mildred.
In the beginning, each character’s personality seemed to be predictable, from one being prejudice to Mildred’s abusive husband. Towards the end of the movie, these character arch’s change into something unpredictable, making the film dynamic in content. The director took a plot that is a dark, crime film and managed to add sprinkles of comedy through Frances McDormand, which came through her own performance in a way that no other actress would have been able to accomplish.
The film is nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and two Best Supporting Actor nods to Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.
This is one in a series of reviews The Pioneer Times will run of those movies nominated for the 2018 Best Picture Academy Award until March 4.