THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award nominee Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated.Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Though it was initially supposed to be a simple task, Sam Rockwell's accent research was very involved. According to dialect coach Liz Himelstein, Rockwell likes to find authentic people and record them for accent references. Himelstein watched an episode of Cops (1989) from Springfield, Missouri and tweeted the police department requesting an interview with the Chief of Police. Not long afterward, Himelstein and Rockwell Skyped with the officer and learned about his life and his job. "The officer actually came up with the word 'clank' for jail", she says. "Sam brought that to Martin, and he agreed to put that word in the script." Then, she says, the officer made a recording of himself saying all of Rockwell's lines. From there, Sam studied the recordings. See more »
Mildred had a tooth that needed to be pulled or perhaps some serious dental work done to it. Shortly thereafter (maybe the next day) she had no problems with it. Those sort of things don't get better without treatment. See more »
[walking into his office]
You Red Welby?
Yes, ma'am. How may I help you?
I heard there's three billboards out on Drinkwater Road. You're in charge of renting them out, that right?
I didn't know we had any billboards out on Drinkwater. Where is Drinkwater Road?
It's a road out past the Sizemore turn-off. Nobody uses it since the freeway got put in.
You are right. Got three billboards out there. Nobody's put nothing up out there since 1986. That was 'Huggies'.
How much to rent out all...
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Extremely funny film about grief, anger, revenge and violence
It seemed that the pregnant police detective Marge Gunderson from 'Fargo' would forever be the most memorable character of Frances McDormand's acting career. But now I'm not so sure. Mildred Hayes, the heroine from 'Three Billboards', is a serious contender. This might well be her best performance ever.
The part of Mildred Hayes was written with McDormand in mind. Hayes is a divorced single mother, living with her son on the outskirts of a small, remote town. She had a daughter too, but the girl was raped and killed on a quiet mountain road not far from home. Frustrated by the lack of progress of the investigation, Hayes decides to rent three dilapidated billboards, publicly accusing the local police chief of incompetence. By doing so, she attracts the attention of the media, angers almost the entire town and causes a succession of increasingly violent actions.
Although the film is about grief, anger, revenge and violence, it is extremely funny. Above all because of Mildred Hayes' stubborn character and her ability to verbally humiliate people by her extremely sharp tongue. The monologue she delivers when a priest visits her house to tell her she has gone too far, is priceless.
Apart from McDormand's performance, the screenplay is another great feature of this film. The story is full of unexpected twists, gradually shifting the positions of the main characters towards each other. None of the characters are one-dimensional: they all reveal surprising parts of their personalities as the story moves forward.
And then there is the overall, almost Coen-esque atmosphere of a small town full of colourful characters. There is a racist cop, a friendly midget, a smart advertising guy and a pretty girl who is so dumb she doesn't know the difference between polo and polio.
It is hard to mention something negative about this film. 'Three Billboards' is, from start to finish, a great movie. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it.
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