Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri gets three thumbs up
From a small premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September to headlining wide-release theatres this week in the United Kingdom.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is this year’s breakout, runaway hit looking into awards season, and it was just announced as a nominee for best picture at the Oscars.
It cleaned up at the Golden Globes, grabbing the awards for best actress, best supporting actor and best drama film, among others. And honestly, it did so with good reason.
The only question left is why?
Three Billboards is an art film. It’s not a nice, neat little package that you leave the theatre satisfied with. If you’re going looking for a crime thriller and a chase scene with the bad guy just out of reach, this is definitely not it.
The grandiose plot — small town mom tries to find the criminal who raped and murdered her daughter — is only the backdrop for other events to happen. It’s the spark that lights the (often literal) fire behind the character’s actions and throws their little haven into chaos.
And chaos reigns; it’s a wild ride from start to finish. But there was not a single moment in this film that I got frustrated with a character’s actions or thought that they were unrealistic.
I got sad, I had to gasp at some parts and I cringed at others. But the motivations were always credible.
It’s not what you’ve seen a thousand times before; the writing is superb and unpredictable and, thank God, the trailers don’t give anything away.
It’s a film that could have multiple trigger warnings — many of which I can’t get into without spoilers — but handles its content tastefully.
I never felt like I really needed much of any warning, despite topics that really hit close to home. The film went into the consequences of these actions on the characters themselves and those around them — in fact, that’s the entire point of the movie.
It goes much deeper than making you feel something and makes you seriously question your own decisions.
Three Billboards, in its entirety, is all about how grey morality really is and the consequences and guilt that can come from those grey moral decisions. What’s the best decision for one character has enormous negative effects on another.
This theme is hammered home in the last few lines of the film. Even by the very end, there’s no answer as to what a right or wrong decision or action is. Everything is grey and everything depends on your perspective.
Should Three Billboards be the best film at this year’s Oscars? I don’t think I’ve seen enough of the nominees to properly comment. It’s not the best movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly up there in the best crafted.
Alongside Three Billboards other known nominees are The Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name. Which can be served as proof that there’s a wider market for what was previously considered niché