My Top 10 of the 2010’s: #3 – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

#10 “Logan”

#9 “The Wolf of Wall Street”

#8 “BlacKkKlansman”

#7 “Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood ”

#5 “Inside Out ”

#4 “Gravity”

#3 “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Director: Martin McDonagh

Release Date: 01 Dec 2017

Main Cast: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson

Oscars: 7 nominations, 2 wins (Actress, Supporting Actor)

#7 Critically acclaimed movie of 2017

Favourite Line: Mildred Hayes (talking to a deer near the site of her daughter’s death):

“Hey baby… Yup, still no arrests. How come I wonder? ‘Cause there ain’t no God and the whole world’s empty, and it doesn’t matter what we do to each other? I hope not. How come you came up here out of nowhere lookin’ so pretty? You ain’t trynta make me believe in reincarnation or somethin’ are ya? ‘Cause you’re pretty but you ain’t her… She got killed. Now she’s dead forever. I do thank you for comin’ though. If I had some food I’d give it to ya. All I got is some Doritos, ‘n’ they might kill ya, they’re kinda pointy… Then where would we be?”

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is at the same time a study of grief, guilt, revenge, justice and healing. It’s a complex film that combines drama, police procedural and truly dark comedy in perhaps the best script of the decade.

Frances McDormand plays Mildred Hayes. Its has been seven months since her daughter’s brutal rape and murder and the police trail has ran cold and there seems to be no effort to find those responsible. Mildred decides to take matters into her own hands and starts by renting three old billboards outside of town. In giant black letters on red background they say “Raped While Dying”. “ And Still No Arrests”. “Why Chief Willoughby?”

The movie follows several strands of the story. The towns reaction to the billboards. The effect they have on her son and his attempt to get back to a normal life. The conflict with an overtly racist, dim witted cop (Sam Rockwell) and the relationship between Mildred and the chief (Woody Harrelson).

Rockwell and McDormand both won Oscars and both were richly deserved but its Frances McDormand as Mildred that is the key and centre to this exception film.

She is angry. Frustrated. Determined. She will not budge from her plan or her mind set. But at every moment, you can see behind her eyes, her biting her lip and know that at any moment, this character is ready to collapse in grief and give up.

The script offers wonderfully unique characters and a disquieting, unexpected ending that is at the same time, spot on perfect. It’s a clinic in acting and there is not a single bad choice from writer/director Martin McDonagh. It will have a place in my top 100 and be a movie I will watch many more times.

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