This weekend I saw probably the best movie I've seen in quite a while. One of this year's Oscar Nominees, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri succinctly is a story of Mildred Hayes, her rental of three billboards on an outskirt road in the small town of Ebbing, and the controversial words she selected to plaster on them. Essentially, her message calls out the police unit in the town and their unfocused activity, following the brutal raping and killing of her daughter, with no suspect in sight.
The billboards themselves trigger a chain reaction amongst the community. The story unfolds to reveal several complex characters, each fighting their own personal battles. The gravity at which the billboards affect the town is monumental, conducting the belief that an image contains immense power. The billboards themselves are simple, each completing the interrogative. The single question, in block font against the red background is impactful, commanding attention in its minimalism. Who knew something so simple could create such chaos!
Despite this serious subject matter, it is a movie that successfully takes you through the full spectrum of emotions. Frances McDormand plays her character with a ruthless grit and cynical sense of humour. At times, the film makes you laugh, but there is still a deep, underlying sadness in the varying situations each characters endure.
Without giving away too much, the greatest contrast in feelings exist between the immense anger felt at the film's climax, both over the poor choices made by characters and in the greater picture what the film depicts of society, to the hopefulness had by the very end, insisting upon the goodness in every human.