Four and One Half Stars.
© Chuck Duboff
When Hollywood gets away from the Marvel Comic fascination and decides to make a serious movie about society today…the result is outstanding drama. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri speaks to the need for vengeance in American society.
After months have passed without the murderer being caught in her daughter’s death, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, (Woody Harrelson) the town’s revered chief of police.
Throughout the movie, strong messages are conveyed about rape, racism, vengeance and a lack of civility in society. Ironically, it is the “simpleton” girlfriend of the deputy police officer (Sam Rockwell) who states: “Anger begets anger”…and that really is what this movie is about. The anger which has overtaken American society and the need to “get back” at any body who has done you wrong.
With an outstanding cast led by Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards is nominated for seven Academy Awards, with McDormand for Best Actress and Rockwell for Supporting Actor.
Upon reflection it’s interesting to note that we develop empathy for Mildred Hayes, despite her violent actions and we are proud of Rockwell’s Dixon character as he supposedly is reformed from his racist ways.
An America overrun by anger and fear and racism and vengeance is heading down a path of self-destruction. Movies like Three Billboards are a warning to America that it must get control of the anger which is destroying a once great country. Movies can make a difference in the evolution of society, and Three Billboards does just that.