How Come, Chief Willoughby?
2017 | R | 1 Hr. 55 Min. | Comedy, Drama | Fox Searchlight
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Synopsis:THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award nominee Martin McDonagh. After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon, an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated.
In a simple word, Wow. Winner of four Golden Globes and with seven Oscar nominations, including two win's Three Billboards is well worth the hype. And as much as I loved McDormand's role Sam Rockwell playing a small town racist cop was the role that moved me the most. Dixon (Rockwell) is introduced to us as an outspoken and lewd cop with a love for racial slurs who supposedly tortured the town's black prisoners in previous incidents is where the heart of this movie lies.
Don't get me wrong McDormand who won a Golden Globe for her performance and the Oscar for best leading lady, that I'm not disputing is well deserved. The character she portrays is so unapologetically and cold you can not help but root for her. As her allies disappear and those in power try to silence her, she only gets louder. And according to IMDB Frances McDormand was hesitant to take the role of Mildred when offered to her, but was eventually convinced by her husband, Joel Coen. She said, "Because at the time he gave it to me I was fifty-eight. I was concerned that women from this socioeconomic strata did not wait until thirty-eight to have their first child. So we went back and forth and we debated that quite for a while, and then finally my husband said, 'Just shut up and do it.'" And we are all glad she did.
Despite the racial undertones and the touchy subject matter Billboards somehow in some way kicks you in the gut and warms your heart at the same time. Now fair warning this is an art house style film so the ending. If you try to "solve" Three Billboards is to completely misunderstand what this movie is, or what it’s ultimately about. For one thing, the film doesn’t introduce one iota of evidence that any of these characters are guilty of the murder. It’s not a murder mystery or a whodunit. There are many things important to its plot and what it is as a film, and the identity of the murderer is not one of them. In fact, the very not-solving of the murder is perhaps the key to its ending.
|4 out of 5 Stars|