While Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is far from a perfect film, it unrelentingly grabs the attention of its audience for a fresh and emotional examination of many aspects of modern-day American concerns. McDonagh’s writing, structure, and overall message of the piece were stellar, even though I thought that some elements of the piece were a bit contrived and sentimental.
Based on a melange of true stories that the writer-director came across while traveling through Texas, the film tells the story of a woman who is on the search for the rapist and murderer of her daughter in the face of an indifferent and somewhat complacent (or complicit?) local police department. She takes matters into her own hands as a one-woman army of publicity, engagement, and shaming. As she becomes more effective, she becomes more dangerous, and the movie leads to the somewhat unsurprising conclusion that there is no way to ever heal from these wounds.
I enjoyed every minute with this film, and the awards that the film and its cast received were well deserved. I cannot stress how brilliantly the character-driven writing in this film supports and is supported by the incredible cast in the piece. As an ensemble, the actors flawlessly embrace their characters and their communal roles with one another, creating a truly spectacular three-dimensional community. Well worth the watch.