Run time: 115 mins
Mildred Hayes, there’s a name you won’t forget in a hurry. Frances McDormand is a hurricane of no-nonsense that’ll not so much sweep the awards season, as tear it up, kicking the Academy square in the balls. (It did just that 2017)
Martin McDonagh returns to a world of hard-as-nails, yet complex, vulnerable and ordinary people to upend expectations. Seven months after her daughter was brutally raped and murdered, Mildred Hayes emblazons the roadside billboards with signs taunting police chief Willoughby (the outstanding WoodyHarrelson: Oscar nom) about the lack of arrests. This opens a whole can of townsfolk worms. Beneath the caricatures, Ebbing’s most unsympathetic residents, officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell: Oscar win) there are complex lives.
Three Billboards feels like high-intensity comedy circuit training; causing strains in ethical muscles you didn’t know you had. It continually forces you to question your own responses: is it okay to laugh here, cry there…? Thanks to McDonagh and his livewire star McDormand (Oscar win) Three Billboards is a masterpiece likely to leave its mark for years to come. (research Jack Whiting).
One more Oscar notch on the Rex’s anniversary preview list (this our 13th 5.12.17) Come again four years on. It’s mood, spirit and scars don’t fade.