Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Lately the boys have been watching horror movies. They keep watching horror movies from the 70s and 80s.

I am not a big fan of horror movies.

Monster movies don’t thrill me either. I know that there are real monsters in this world that are frightening more than any movie. When I saw the video of the father who went after the doctor who sexually abused so many female gymnasts, I can’t say that I found him completely wrong. I understood his emotions.

Three BillboardsIt is those same emotions that are on display in the Oscar TM nominated Three Billboards outside Ebbings, Missouri. The story is about a woman who rents three billboards outside of her small town. The bright red billboards question why the sheriff has not found a killer.

The killer that Mildred (Frances McDormand) wants brought to justice raped and killed her teenage daughter. And she feels that Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) is not doing his job. The Chief wants to find the killer. But he is dealing with many other issues, including a deputy (Sam Rockwell) who is accused of police brutality.

There’s more, as there is always more with a story like this. There are many blind alleys and unexpected happening.

I am not going to tell you about them.

To do so at this time would ruin the movie for you as it is still so new in the theaters. But I will say that this movie took me to places I did not expect. Just when I thought I understood what was happening, a curve would be thrown, a mystical element appeared, bitterness could not be denied.

Director Martin McDonagh also wrote the original screenplay. He stated that during a bus ride across America he saw three billboards asking questions about a crime. He wanted to explore how a person could come to a point that they needed to do this and that is how he came up with the character of Mildred.

Three Billboards 2

From the commercials, I thought the movie would be more of a black comedy. But as it went on, I felt is was more of a slice of life movie through the eyes of a person living through deep grief. I believe that this is one of those movies for adults dealing with the adult topic of grief on various levels. The swearing alone would put off some people, especially the scene in which Mildred tells off the priest.

It’s a role that only a fearless actress could portray and McDormand is certainly that. She allows Mildred’s grief and anger and fear to take over, showing the extremes a mother might go to to find the killer of her daughter despite their rocky relationship.

Other cast members put in solid performances that don’t let you down during an onslaught of tension and continuous storytelling. The nominations for various awards are all deserved.

There are no easy answers, no simple solutions to this movie. That is why it will reap many Oscars come March 4th.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.