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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ offers dramatic tale with raw emotion

Jack Petro
Jack Petro

Mildred Hayes is frustrated.  Months after her daughter was killed while being raped, no arrests have been made.

Mildred (Frances McDormand) takes her last $5,000 and rents three billboards on the highway approaching a small town in Missouri.  She posts “Raped While Dying,” “Still No Arrests,” and “How come, Sheriff Willoughby?”

She gets her attention, all right.  The town’s people are furious about the notoriety.  Later, vandals try to burn the signs down.

Frances McDormand stars in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) reluctantly has to explain to Mildred that no DNA matches with local suspects have been made. The terminally ill sheriff tries his best to tell the facts to Mildred: The crime, if committed by transients, will go unsolved. 

McDormand holds a stoic façade throughout the movie.  No makeup is used until the final scenes.  Her excellent acting has already won her an Oscar nomination for best actress.  Chances of winning, however, are slim as she is up against female leads in “Shape of Water” and “Lady Bird.”

“Three Billboards…” has a complex plot which asks more questions than it answers, but the pure drama of the script is worth the ticket price.  The show also holds an Oscar nomination. It gets an A grade and recommendation from me.

The film is showing at the Barnstorm Theater in The Villages.

Jack Petro reviews movies for Villages-News.com

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