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Three Billboards – Movie Review

By Luke Nield

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Three Billboards tells the story of a mother’s unwavering dedication to try and get the seemingly, stereotypical lazy American police officers of the midwestern town (Ebbing,
Missouri) to reopen her daughter’s murder case by buying Three Billboards. There’s an argument to be had that there are aspects of this film which suggest it has an almost
‘Western’ undertone – One person’s battle to find justice. It contains one of the strongest openings to a movie this year perfectly setting up the gritty, dark but humorous themes
which ensue throughout.

 

Three Billboards

 

It’s stellar cast lifted this dark but humane story to the brink of greatness. Frances McDormand’s performance was palpable right till the last second leaving you hanging off
her every word, wondering what she is going to do next, as her motherly passion fuels her to the edge of reason. Leaving the audience to wonder where the line will be drawn.
There is a level of dark comedy which oozes naturally from the script. But, this just adds to the sheer enjoyment of the film. Especially when the cast consists of Woody Harrelson whose portrayal of Captain Willoughby is deeply impactful on the story. Whilst, giving some perfectly timed dark humour that doesn’t undermine the validity and seriousness of the
story.

Sam Rockwell, who in recent years has been understated in some of his roles, is now back on top, playing a character that could have ruined the tone of the film if it wasn’t cast perfectly. Fortunately for everyone, Martin McDonagh chose Sam. Finally, Peter Dinklage breaks the shackles as Game of Throne’s Tyrion Lannister to become a kind-hearted
midwestern American who has a slight infatuation for another town member. Also, for fans of the hit FXX show ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Sandy Martin (Mac’s Mum) makes a fantastic and hilarious appearance which will not disappoint.

Three Billboards

Briefly touching on Ben Davis’s cinematography. It isn’t over-spoken but in the best way possible because it’s not over intrusive. In fact, it allows the film to breathe, complimenting
the acting by allowing you to be swept up in the emotion with simple but extremely well-crafted shots. At points, it does border on the edge of becoming a classic, glossy Hollywood movie, mainly due to the location being a picture-perfect midwestern town, but it subverts expectations and really comes into its own by the end of the film.

After the recent Golden Globes success, with Frances McDormand picking up ‘Best Actress’, Sam Rockwell achieving ‘Best Supporting Actor’, and the film itself managing to get ‘Best Drama Motion Picture’ it’s clear that the story has resonated with people. Without any clear frontrunners at this point, it could replicate that success and win big at the 90th Academy Awards on March 4th.

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