‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Is By Far The Best Film of 2017

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Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ was written and directed by the mega- talented playwright/screenwriter Martin McDonagh (‘In Bruges’). This film is in one word, incredible.

Francis McDormand gives a brilliant, Oscar worthy performance as Mildred Hayes, a woman who is consumed with rage and despair since the rape and murder of her daughter, Angela some seven months ago.  Mildred feels that the police department run by Chief Willoughby (the excellent Woody Harrelson) has been very lax in trying to find her daughter’s killer. There wasn’t any DNA and the investigation has run cold.

When the film begins, Mildred is driving down a deserted road when she sees three empty tattered billboards next to where her daughter was found burnt to death after the rapist was done with her.   Mildred is desperate to bring the person responsible for this horrific act to justice, so she pays $5000 to rent the billboards for a month and has three messages painted on them: Still No Arrests, How come Chief Willoughby?, Raped While Dying. 

The chief is angry about the billboards but not as angry as the townspeople. They are enraged that Mildred has attacked their revered Chief of Police and it doesn’t take long for the whole town to turn against her, especially when her story is picked up by the local media.. But Mildred doesn’t care and she lets everyone including the local dentist and priest know this in a very brutal and unflinching way.

Mildred’s move to embarrass the police department leads to events that involve not only the Chief, but his bigoted officer, (the extraordinary Sam Rockwell) a brutal racist/momma’s boy.

Mildred’s rage is so intense, so raw, and Miss McDormand brings it all out giving the most passionate, searing performance of her career. She is absolutely stunning to watch. In fact, everyone in the cast including John Hawkes as her abusive ex husband, Peter Dinklage as the local drunk who tries to befriend Mildred, Lucas Hedges, who rents her the billboards, and Abbie Cornish as the Chief’s wife are all so good.

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ‘takes you to very dark and intense places. McDonough, who is considered one of the most important living Irish playwrights in Ireland, doesn’t hold back. He takes you to the depths of despair, making us feel everything that these characters are going through, but somehow he meanages to infuse the film with humor…black powerful humor, but nonetheless, humor.

The film never goes where you expect it to go. Characters transform and definitely surprise you. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’ opens November 10, 2017 and if you see only one film this year, it should be this one.

 

 

 

 

Joan Alperin

About Joan Alperin

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death. As a result of his huge following, they created a funny movie review show entitled Two Jews on Film, where Joan and her husband, John would review movies and rate them with bagels You can see their reviews by going to youtube.com/twojewsonfilm. Although it's now only one Jew - Joan is occasionally joined by her beautiful Pekingnese and Japanese Chin.
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One Response to ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Is By Far The Best Film of 2017

  1. Deb Frazin says:

    Great review – can’t wait to see this film!

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