Mother Mildred Hayes just wants some action from local law enforcement on solving the year-old murder of her daughter. And to get it, she’s willing to stir things up by buying space on three billboards outside of town asking why they’re doing nothing. What she doesn’t expect is the town to turn on her, the police to harass her or that her former wife-beating husband will side with the townspeople. What Ebbing, Missouri doesn’t expect is Mildred’s reaction [SPOILER] from firebombing police headquarters to kicking a couple of teens in the crotch to putting those billboards back up when hubby burns them down. Ass.
Look, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a great film. It’s no masterpiece, but it is one of the better films of 2017. Frances McDormand is a gifted actress, without a doubt, and Sam Rockwell is a constant surprise in this dramedy. But Three Billboards is yet another film with violence against women at its core. Before I get letters: yes, there’s plenty of violence against men, too with a guy getting thrown out of a building. It’s all tough to watch.
Even if we get beyond the rape, burning, and murder of the daughter, and the billboard that describes it in blazing red, (which you can’t, frankly) we still have to watch Mildred get roughed up by her ex-husband, terrified by a creepy misogynist and then hear that same asshole talk about raping [SPOILER] some other girl. Jesus. It’s just appalling. I reached my saturation point of films that beat up women quite a while ago. I’m done. So while Three Billboards is a very good film, it sure as hell is not a fun one to watch.
Really, really short review: Good cinematic effort that once against puts violence against women as its center.