FILM REVIEW: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starring Frances McDormand

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

OUT in the UK: 12/1/18

There’s a moment in this film when we burst into tears and that’s not something that we often do at the cinema, especially these days.

  • Read on for reasons including why this deserves to win its awards

For us it’s television where the most groundbreaking filmed work is done and it is the immersive qualities of theatre which mean it is the medium that we find most moving.

However it would be fair to say that film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is nothing like one’s average multiplex experience.

Frances McDormand plays Mildred Hayes who hires three billboards outside the town where she lives to ask the police chief (an understated Woody Harrelson), who is dying from cancer, why no one has been arrested for the rape and murder of her daughter.

Sam Rockwell has a lot of work to do as the racist cop who comes to the defence of his boss and is infuriated by Mildred’s refusal to give up on seeking justice for her daughter.

We weren’t big fans of writer/director Martin McDonagh’s recent play Hangmen, which originated at the Royal Court before a West End transfer and imminent off-Broadway production, but Three Billboards is riveting from the off.

McDormand has never been an actress that we’ve especially appreciated but she’s tremendous in a part which is not always entirely sympathetic.

We won’t say at which point we found ourselves most moved but the most impressive thing about McDonagh’s script is that it develops in ways that are never predictable.

We came away from it thinking that we’d quite happily watch it all again and how often can you say that about films these days? Utterly deserving of the awards it has so far won and the many more it is about to.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Three Billboards. Tickets
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