Freitag, 16. Februar 2018


Title: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Running Time: 115 min
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Hedges, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage

Martin McDonagh is a genius. Like man film makers he started his career with a short film. But unlike most of his colleagues he immediately got critical recognition for it and won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. He followed this with the now cult classic "In Bruges" as well as the movie everyone tells me they still really want to see, "Seven Psychopaths". All of these works were able to gain critical success despite being full of cussing and violence. Does the next entry in his filmography follow that trend?
Most certainly. "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" is a darkly comedic yet thought-provoking movie full of intriguing characters, witty dialogue and fantastic performances. In that way, it is very much a McDonagh film. It might however be his most accessible work, because the message and themes of this movie are much more straightforward than usual.
In "Seven Psychopaths" Christopher Walken's character quoted Gandhi by saying "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." and it seems as if McDonagh set out to construct his latest film in honor of that statement. This movie is about seething anger, the urge for revenge and about how hatred only generates more hatred. The small-town setting is perfect for this story, as it naturally connects the characters and gives each of them an individual history with someone else. The driving force in this film is the character of Mildred Hayes, a grieving mother haunted by the unsolved murder of her teenage daughter. When she puts up the titular billboards in hopes of provoking the police in such a way that they re-open the cold case of her daughter, she sets the ball rolling. From that point on, McDonagh lets the events escalate continuously. His characters don't care for etiquette and when they clash you can be sure to hear some abusive language and aggressive behavior. And the film feels more real because of it. Somehow, people that curse just seem a little more honest. Additionally, the film gains genuinenes by taking its time to insert a few more quiet and sincere moments in between all the turmoil to give the characters as well as the audience room to breath and absorb everything that's been going on.
This great writing becomes even better through the actors. This is a fantastic cast and everyone is on the top of their game. Fraces McDormand gives such a furious and yet vulnerable performance that you are invested in her fate for every second of this film. Also Sam Rockwell manages to bring out the humanity in a seemingly unredeemable character and Woody Harrelson shines as the unlikely moral anchor of the film.
"Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" is a cleverly written, perfectly acted movie that with all its obscenities, has a kindhearted message at ist core - an absolutely fantastic time. Catch it in theaters as long as you still can!

For Fans Of:
In Bruges (2008)
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Fargo (1996)
Adam's Apples [orig.: Adams Æbler] (2005)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Pulp Fiction (1994)

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