18 September 2017 | GODZILLA_Alpha_Predator
A dark, twisted comedy about grief, tragedy and three billboards
Having recently won the People's Choice Awards at TIFF, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is very easy to see why it won.
Three Billboards is a dark but also funny and heart-felt story about one woman's quest to get justice for her daughter's rape and murder. After Mildred Haynes buys three billboards with words written on them accusing the town's well-liked sheriff of having not found her daughter's killer, it sets a series of events that turns the citizens and the cops against her.
The thing I can say about Three Billboards without going into spoilers is that it is wildly unpredictable. One moment you think things are going one direction as expected then it takes hard left turn that only adds to the dynamic between the characters. As the pressure within the town builds and anger is pointed towards Mildred, we see many of these characters evolve in order to deal with tragedy and grief and learn to find peace. And the movie goes through a roller-coaster of emotions. One moment you are laughing your butt off from the hilarious dialogue then you feel like someone just punched you in the gut. With every victory you think this story brings you feel like it was taken away from because of the world's unfairness and injustice. In lesser hands the mixture of dark and comedic tones would not work, but director and writer Martin McDonagh knows how to balance them to perfection.
The performances here just through the roof. Frances McDormand delivers a performance that will for sure get her into the Lead Actress awards race at the Oscars. As Mildred, McDormand just cuts loose with her performance with every line of hate, cynicism and cursing towards everyone she feels doesn't truly understand the internal pain she is going through. But McDormand does now and then show a soft side to Mildred. It shows that Mildred is just person like everyone who has her own way of dealing with the tragedy of loosing her own child. And Sam Rockwell also gives one of the best performances of his career as the flawed and very misguided cop Dixon. The character of Dixon is short-tempered, volatile, and not bright with some baggage of his own that the locals accuse him of. But Sam Rockwell brings his charm and sincerity to what could be a rather unlikable character. And in the latter half, you see Dixon go through a tremendous arc of learning to care about others rather then just being angry towards them. Other great performances that should be called out are Woody Harrelson, Peter Dinklage, John Hawk and Caleb Landry Jones.
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is easily one of the best movies this year and is worth seeing once it comes out in wide releases.