I have to admit that I went into Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri with rose-tinted glasses on; I’m a massive fan of Martin McDonagh. I loved In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths and have been a fan of his plays since I first read them in university. In 2017, I was lucky enough to get to see The Pillowman live in the Gaeity Theatre, Dublin and it was everything I hoped.
So when I found out that Martin McDonagh wrote and directed a new film that was just released in the cinema, I was delighted and excited to see it. I was also as excited when I found out who made up the cast, and so I was thrilled to watch it. I’m just as thrilled to admit that it was worth the wait and I was just as happy leaving the cinema as I was going into it.
There was something very ‘Martin McDonagh’ about the film itself, not least because a number of the cast were the same as in Seven Pyschopaths, but also because the dialogue was also similar, as was the pacing. I love the way McDonagh plays with language and this film was no exception.
Frances McDormand was absolutely amazing as the protagonist, Mildred Hayes, a badass woman, fighting against the police force of her small town by renting out three billboards outside the town. One thing that struck me throughout the film was her costume. For no explained reason, she is wearing blue overalls and a headband. I spent a lot of time waiting to find out if she was a mechanic, but she wasn’t. Then, Daire suggested that perhaps she was wearing it to reflect Rosie the Riveter. This seems the most plausible, and it’s, quite frankly, pretty cool.
I don’t know how best to describe this film, but throughout the movie, there were a lot of moments that took me by surprise, even more moments that made me feel pure, raw emotion and some moments that left me wondering what the hell I had just seen.
This, to me, is the sign of a good movie. Another sign is that I would watch it again. I know that I’m immensely biased in favour of Martin McDonagh, Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson, but they really are a holy Trinity.