Nominated for six Golden Globe Awards, Three Billboards Outside Ebing, Missouri is a dark comedy-drama directed by Martin McDonagh. It tells the story of a distraught, unravelling, single mother, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), who loses hope in local law enforcement and decides to take matters into her own hands.
It has been seven months since Mildred’s teenage daughter, Angela, was found raped and brutally murdered. So far, no arrests have been made by the Ebbing Police Department in connection with Angela’s death. Mildred is outraged as she believes the Chief of Police, Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) has allowed the investigation to stall. She decides to make a defiant move by renting three abandoned billboards leading into town, directing controversial messages towards the Chief, as she hopes to shame him into actively pursuing the murderer.
Although the Chief is sympathetic to Mildred’s frustration and anger, he sees the billboards as an unfair attack. Chief Willoughby’s second-in-command, Officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), is an inept, violent mama’s boy who considers the billboards disrespectful to both law enforcement and his chief officer. The Ebbing’s townspeople are also angered with Mildred’s actions, particularly since the Chief is suffering from pancreatic cancer. The billboards’ disrespectful messages spur a forceful backlash against Mildred, resulting in unexpected consequences.
McDormand is one of the few performers who has achieved the Triple Crown of Acting: an Emmy, Tony, and an Oscar, and once again delivers a stellar performance. Harrelson portrays Mildred’s targeted enemy and gives a rare performance of a more genuine character, bringing a sense of integrity to his role. It is Dixon’s complicated and antagonistic relationship with Mildred that garnered Rockwell with a Golden Globe nomination. With such strong characters coming together on the silver screen, Three Billboards is original and entertaining, bringing a powerful exploration of justice, forgiveness and second chances.