The Oscar race is on!
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is not only the year’s best dark comedy, it’s also the year’s best movie. That is unless anything in these next few weeks were to beat it.
It’s an R-rated comedy that holds the balance of fowl language and sympathy; and with a great cast, you really feel something, while you’re laughing and appealed at the cursing. In fact, this movie doesn’t give two sh*ts about the language.
Set in Ebbing, Missouri (but of course, you already knew that), Frances McDormand gives her best performance since “Fargo” as Mildred Hayes, a mother, who lost her daughter Angela (Kathryn Newton) to a rapist, and is convinced the local police department is too busy to find the murderer. So out of anger, she buys three billboards: “How Come, Chief Willoughby?,” “And Still No Arrests?,” and “Raped While Dying.”
Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) is the sheriff, who is dying of cancer, while assuring Mildred if he could, he’d catch the killer. Another cop hurt by this is the racist Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), who ends up fired for his behavior. There’s also her son Robbie (Lucas Hedges, finding himself in another perfect movie), who gets harassed at school. And her ex-husband Charlie (John Hawkes), who is dating a 19-year-old girl (Samara Weaving), while criticizing her for her actions against the police.
Writer/producer/director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges,” “Seven Psychopaths”) has outdone himself with this one. Most R-rated comedies these days are so mean-spirited, and assume cursing too much is comical, while adding phony drama with bad acting. But not “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” This has great acting from McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell, Hawkes, Caleb Landry Jones (as the awkward head of the adverting agency), and Peter Dinklage (as “The Town Dwarf”).
There’s pain in the characters, and the minute after the violence (just one painful dentist shot) and language occurs, you’re understanding their feelings. You might be in question about the ending, but then again, you may not (depending on your examinations). All and all, I loved it.