Archive for January 13th, 2018

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri

Even though we are not even half way through January this extremely black comedy-blackest of black at some points- written and directed by Martin McDonagh will continue to stand out as one of the best films of 2018.
With Frances McDormand, giving a career high performance-only in Fargo has she been THIS good- in a career that is full of highs, as Mildred Hayes a grieving mother frustrated at the local police department’s investigation into her daughter’s rape and subsequent murder who rents out three huge billboards at the edge of the town venting her frustration at the lack of progress and especially directs her vitriol at local police chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson).
Willoughby has his own personal problems at this time, not least pancreatic cancer but also trying to manage his openly racist and hostile colleague Jason Dixon –brilliantly played by Sam Rockwell-who at times is more of a hindrance than a help in any situation.
Despite their differences and her relentless hectoring some sort of mutual respect exists between Mildred and Bill Willoughby and just how much becomes clear as the film charters its unpredictable terrain.
So many emotive angles are covered in this film including grief, loss, anger, frustration and yet set off with the most rapacious dark humour which only perpetuates the intensity and intelligence at this film’s core.
As for McDormand she excels as Hayes, which must have been a dream role to play, battered and emotionally bruised clad in an outfit of distressed work gear often adding a bandana into the mix, giving her an extra edge of meanness and a don’t-fuck-with-me attitude. To be precise she behaves and says things the rest of us probably want to whenever our frustrations get the better of us but an impossible veneer of politeness usually prevents us from doing so.
No-one is safe from her vitriolic honesty whether it be the Catholic Church, her neighbours, friends and even her own family. Even the local ‘midget’ (Peter Dinklage) who is nothing but kind towards her finds his kindness met with a searing putdown.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is definitely not a film to be missed. Outstanding performances from all involved alongside thought-provoking and witty dialogue conspire to make a Molotov Cocktail more lethal than the one Mildred lobs into the local Police Station at one of the films many high-points.
See this film!

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