Non-Spoiler Review: 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' deserves every bit of its Oscar buzz
(image via FOX Searchlight)
Martin McDonagh's 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' isn't a perfect film.
It's a bit disjointed at times, but it's so well-made it's easy to push the faults aside. His first film back since 2012's "Seven Psychopaths," McDonagh should be in consideration for a Best Director nod.
Here's the plot rundown:
After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon -- an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence -- gets involved, the battle is only exacerbated.
Stylistically, there's a lot to love about "Three Billboards." McDonagh's direction completely immerses you into the complicated world of these characters.
The cast might be the best ensemble of 2017. Centered around Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes, Woody Harrelson as Sheriff Willoughby and Sam Rockwell as Officer Dixon, "Three Billboards" doesn't waste its star power on meaningless ancillary scenes.
The supporting cast of Peter Dinklage as James, Lucas Hedges as Robbie Hayes and Caleb Landry Jones as Red Welby left you wanting more, especially with Dinklage.
My chief complaint with "Three Billboards" is the slight of hand in its marketing. In an effort to lean on the success of McDonagh's past hits like "Seven Psychopaths" and "In Bruges," the film is painted as a dark comedy. The film you expect from its Red Band trailer, a highlight reel of cherry-picked gags, is in no way an accurate portrayal.
Much like Darren Aronofsky's 'mother!' I would have been much more happy knowing what I was getting into. This is a very heavy drama that will stick with you. That didn't stop it from winning best picture at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
"Three Billboards" isn't built for repeat viewing. It's probably not an ideal date night movie. None of that should stop you from seeing this film. If you're interested in elite filmmaking partnered with an extraordinary cast, look no further.