“Three Billboards”: Tragic, touching and often dubious

Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." Photo by Blueprint Pictures

The latest Martin McDonagh (director of Seven Psychopaths and In Bruges) movie is a big hit and critics are favoring it for an Oscar win. The darkly comical story follows a weatherbeaten mother as she challenges the local authorities to catch her daughter’s murderer so that justice can be served. She uses old billboards to challenge the incompetence of the local police force.

Without giving anything away, one of the movies greatest strengths is its sheer unpredictability. The plot is constantly shifting and we see some real character development as the characters adapt to deal with their grief.

Despite what we might assume from the trailer, the movie is not an outright attack on the police force and justice system, though it does consider these things. More than this, it is a journey through the complexity of human emotion and perseverance.

The entire cast gave outstanding performances but special credit is owed to Frances McDormand, who we expect will be in the running for Lead Actress at the Oscars.

Overall, the movie is tragic, touching and often dubious. Like Mildred Hayes, we must lean on humor to guide us through the uncertainty that is cleverly intertwined with the plot. A must-see!