Thriving upon reaction and sentiment perhaps explains why its enormous critical praise comes simultaneously with battling and fervent controversy
The strength of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or Three Billboards for short, is its incredible diversity of style and general outlook. It’s hugely emotional, hilariously funny and massively insightful becoming the perfect definition of an all-round film. Thriving upon reaction and sentiment perhaps explains why its enormous critical praise comes simultaneously with battling and fervent controversy.
Mildred’s (Frances McDormand) daughter was murdered and raped in a brutal attack. After the passing of 6 months, with no arrests made for the crime, Mildred takes the situation into her own hands, hiring the use of three advertising boards just outside the town of Ebbing, Missouri to show her utter distaste at the situation.
The strong foundations of Three Billboards lie underneath its highly original story and inherently passionate script. There’s a real familiarity with the spoken word, and it comes across as both thematically strong and hugely insightful. As the dialogue opens up with frequent emotional conversations, it becomes a subtle yet climactic battle of speech and violence.
The film is fuelled by its comedy but its engine is made of sheer emotion and fear. Three Billboards is a deeply layered film with characters designed to be deep and largely unappealing. It relies on a sense of complete immersion, and Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrellson do their characters absolute justice, each giving huge depth through their performance alone.
Full of twists and turns, Three Billboards was always going to hold dear it’s most controversial of moments. It’s a drama that knows exactly how far to push almost all boundaries without losing the audience off its back by offering a huge amount in every aspect of modern filmmaking.
Yet, more importantly than anything else, Three Billboards gives out a brilliant sense of power that everyone will be able to take at least something of note from.