For our first film of 2018, we headed to the critically acclaimed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri from Martin McDonagh, probably best known for his film, In Bruges.
The film follows the frustrations of Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) who is grieving the horrific crime that occurred to her daughter Angela (Kathryn Newton) and is angered by the response of the police force as no one has been held accountable and seven months passing without no arrests.
Her frustrations see her hire the Three Billboards of the title, from Red (Caleb Landry Jones) with statements ‘Raped While Dying’ ‘And Still No Arrests’ & ‘How Come, Chief Willoughby’
This, of course, gets a reaction, in particular from Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) & officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell)
This sets up the themes of the movie about grief, loss and dealing with anger. As Willoughby gives a very reasonable explanation as to why no arrests have been made.
We also learn that Willoughby is dying from cancer, so he perhaps could do without the attention that the billboards have caused.
The film then follows the investigation and tells the story of these 3 characters.
Mildred story is heartbreaking, as we learn the things she has said to her daughter on the night of her death, the relationship with her estranged husband, Charlie (John Hawkes) who having beaten her throughout the relationship, has now left her for a much younger girl, Penelope (Samara Weaving) and the struggle she now has with her son, Robbie (Lucas Hedges) who has had to deal with peoples reactions to here at school.
She has very much become a recluse, wallowing in her anger and need for justice, with no real friends other than her co-worker Denise (Amanda Warren) and she also finds an admire in James (Peter Dinklage) who even covers for her when she commits a crime.
Willoughby story is how he is struggling to come to terms with the effect the cancer is having on his life, and his relation with his wife, Anne (Abbie Cornish) and his children.
And with Dixon, it shows his anger and the relationship with his mother (Sandy Martin) and his attitude towards his job, which has seen him accused of racial crimes. He does not seem to have many friends out of work other than fellow officers Willoughby and his desk sergeant (Zeljko Ivanek) .
All the characters deal with loss in some way and the film also delivers a strong message about the benefits of not holding onto your anger as it doesn’t resolve anything
Simply put this is an incredible film, McDormand and Rockwell must surely deserve Oscar nominations for their incredible performances.
If the rest of films for this year are half as good, we will be in for a great year of movies!
You can find the trailer at the film website here: