I had wanted to see this movie a while ago, but surprise it never appeared in my local theater like so many other movies that aren’t AAA blockbusters. Anyway, that was fine, I would wait until it hit either HBO, Netflix, or Hulu. I knew it had to hit one of those, so when it premiered on HBO, I knew that this was finally my chance to see it and to see what it was about. Keep reading to see if it held up to my very high expectations.
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is about Mildred, played by Frances McDormand. Seven months ago, Frances’ daughter was brutally raped and then murdered and this small town has basically done nothing to find who did this to her daughter. So she decides to put up three billboards on a back road that puts the spotlight on what happened to her daughter and asks the question of why Chief Willoughby, played by Woody Harrelson, hasn’t done anything about it. This basically rocks the small town community of Ebbing, Missouri and especially high strung deputy Dixon, played by Sam Rockwell. Will all of this hard work actually pay off for Mildred and make the police strive harder to figure out who killed her daughter, or will this result in nothing? That’s the big question and the turn of events that happen throughout the movie are shocking.
At first I didn’t know what to think about this movie. It’s obviously a drama, but it was also funny. Should I be laughing at these small town people and the ridiculous things that come out of their mouths? I wasn’t really sure and this troubled me for some of the movie. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be funny or if it was just supposed to show how backwater this town was. Once I was able to get over that I was able to truly enjoy the movie and see that it was OK to laugh at some of the things that were done throughout the movie. By the end, I found this movie to be very well written and well done as a whole. The story of the movie will pull you in and the short spurts of comedy will try and counter the seriousness of this movie, but it always turns back to serious and it shows how much Mildred is struggling with the death of her daughter. Mostly because she blames herself, but also because the police have basically given up the search for who killed her. In the end this ruins some relationships that she had, which is a huge thing in a small town, and even builds new bridges that weren’t there. I thought the ending was classic as it leaves it open-ended. Not in a way that there is going to be a sequel, but in a way of where you have to think for yourself.
While the story was a big part of this movie, none of it could have been pulled off without the actors. It’s really no wonder why Frances McDormand won the academy award for best actress and Sam Rockwell won for best supporting actor. These two people along with Woody Harrelson, did an amazing job of just making this movie work. I think without them that this movie would have been completely different and would have just not worked at all. It was these three actors that made the movie and made it better as they played off of each other extremely well and just helped knock this movie out of the park.
Overall I give this movie a 4 out of 5.
I will say that this movie is not for everyone as the comedy aspects are a little dark, but then again so is the main plot of the story. It is a great movie though and it deserves the recognition that it received. Once you can jump over that hurdle of whether or not it’s OK to laugh at certain points, you’re able to kick back and enjoy the movie. I would have to call this a drama / dark comedy and if those are your types of movies, then this is the movie for you. If you really aren’t into that type of movie then you’ll want to skip this movie and it’s two hour run time.