I found the movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a riveting watch.
The movie is carried by Frances McDormand, an actress who relies on her talent to carry the emotions of the day. She plays an angry mother, Mildred Hayes, who has lost her daughter to a rape-murder. She is justifiably angry because after seven months, the police have found no leads to the killer.
So she decides to take over three tattered billboards on a seldom-used road, and parks her message to the chief of police there.
The townsfolk are naturally upset with her. The church wants her to forgive, and move on, while the chief of police Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) has a lot of friends, including a ditsy redneck constable, Dixon (Sam Rockwell).
It’s a town peopled with flawed reality, like her ex-husband Charlie (John Hawkes) who is now shacked up with a 19-year-old, and midget James (Peter Dinklage), who has a crush on her, or Sheriff Bill who is dying of pancreatic cancer.
This is not a whodunit tale. It’s about anger, embracing it and then reaching some redemption. Life has screwed over many people, and here’s a movie from Hollywood that says anger is no disease, really.
While the case is brilliant, McDormand takes the limelight. I’ve not seen her in such a perfectly-made role since the Coen Brothers’ Fargo. After watching Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I am tempted to watch the former movie again, just for McDormand’s stunning artistry.
Add that to the music score, the dark comedy that wraps the emotions in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” makes it palpably believable.
You may not know who killed her daughter, but the ride with McDormand is thrillingly award worthy.