New York City, Gotham City, and a Galaxy far far away are the popular destinations for a film setting in today’s theater. Who would have thought that a small town like Ebbing, Missouri would be a good setting for one of the most perfect films, and have a couple of the most interesting characters we have seen this year. Do not let the title turn you off from seeing this film, and if you are a film lover, you owe it to yourself to strap in for this hilarious and dismal tale.
Frances McDormand = Mildred
Sam Rockwell = Dixon
Woody Harrelson = Willoughby
This film is literally about three billboards that our main anti-hero, Mildred, decides to use to place controversial statements about the local town police. Mildred’s daughter was raped and murdered several months ago, and yet the perpetrator is still at large. The police force, lead by police chief Willoughby, have let the case run cold and Mildred has decided to not let them forget it. The billboards attract media attention and cause the police to reopen the complicated case with the hope of tracking the rapist and murderer while also silencing the shamelessly outspoken Mildred.
- Frances McDormand
Frances McDormand plays our lovely anti-hero, Mildred, who is mourning the loss of her daughter and has refused to give up hope that one day the killer will be caught. Mildred is cold, vulgar, and rude which makes it very difficult to empathize with her. However, her cold shell gets broken down in a couple scenes and she shows heartbreaking emotion. Frances was absolutely wonderful in this complicated roll and there is no doubt in my mind that she will be racking up nominations during awards season.
2. Sam Rockwell
Sam has always been a great actor and he has played many quirky characters. His performance as Dixon is something special. In the beginning of the film, Dixon is a racist moron who doesn’t seem to have a clue. The audience is left to question how he became a cop in the first place. However, Dixon experiences some unfortunate circumstances that cause him to humble out.
Sam manages to turn this awful and despicable cop into a likable, kind, and lighthearted man. I truly was moved by his performance at the end but it is unlikely that he will get any sort of recognition during awards season.
- Peter Dinklage = James
It regrets me to even mention Peter’s name in my dislikes category because I think he is a wonderful actor and I love his appearances on screen. However, his character seemed very meaningless in this tale. James was the town dwarf and was an outcast like Mildred. He had a crush on her and he even got to take her on a date in the end. After an argument on their date, we didn’t see James for the rest of the film and it left me wondering what his purpose was. Therefore, Peter Dinklage isn’t to blame, instead it would be Director and Writer, Martin McDonagh for not adding more to his character or just removing him from the narrative completely.
This movie is a fantastic balance of comedy and tragedy. If the film was a cake, the inside would be a tragic tale of a mother who lost her daughter and the injustice that surrounds the case. The outer layer would be hilarious characters, perfect comedic timing, and subtle quips. While eating the cake, you won’t fully know whether to laugh or cry, but none-the-less you will enjoy it. I’m certain you will enjoy your experience with this unique flick. Viewer discretion is advised.