(For this year, I’ve devised a new format for future reviews on this blog, starting with today’s. It’s easier to read and allows people to quickly pick up on facts without having to read through many lines of text. Also, slight spoilers ahead if you haven’t yet seen the film, and a trigger warning for rape and racial abuse.)
Film Fact File
Name: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (or simply Three Billboards)
Director: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell
Year of Release: 2017
Country of Production: United States
In a small town in rural Missouri, a woman frustrated by the local police department’s incompetence and laziness in solving the cold case of her raped and murdered daughter decides to re-ignite their attention – by advertising it on three large billboards just outside the town.
My Star Rating
This is the second more ‘mature’ movie I have seen in a cinema after Wind River.
The ‘big crime hitting and shocking a small town in America’ may have been done many times before in the movies, but this Oscar contender sprinkles in a few darkly comedic moments to lighten up the overall rather gloomy mood and put a spin on the formula.
While there’s a few funny moments throughout the film, it touches upon something that has sadly become all too familiar in America, if not around the world; the trivialization of rape by some police forces, police brutality and the torturing of black people for minor matters.
Three Billboards‘ story is somewhat similar to Wind River, as both are concerned with the apparent rape and murder of a young woman, and remaining unsolved; however, in the latter the victim was Native American, while in this film the victim was Caucasian white.
With recent storms brewing in the movie industry, sexual abuse is now at the top of the popular agenda for this year. It’s likely that this will influence many more films for a few good years, but outside of Hollywood, appropriate awareness and prevention is needed for both men and women to prevent another case like the one in this film.
Ebbing is not a real town in Missouri. I can verify this because I searched for it on Google Maps, but it turned up nothing.