Director: Martin McDonagh, 2017, UK, 115 mins, Cert: 15
Sun 11 February // 17:00 *
Mon 12 February // 20:00
Tue 13 February // 20:00
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession / * cheap night)
Martin McDonagh’s (In Bruges) third feature is a characteristically pitch-black comedic drama featuring a blistering central performance from Frances McDormand.
It’s been seven months since her daughter was murdered and foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails Mildred Hayes (McDormand) is fed up. Fuelled by grief and outraged that the investigation has gone quiet, she provokes the local police department with a series of messages plastered on three disused billboards outside her home town of Ebbing, Missouri. So begins a rapidly escalating and very public feud between Mildred and venerated community leader and family man, Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). The situation is exacerbated when blundering side-kick, Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell) gets involved. Just as unhinged as Mildred, but with a significantly lower IQ, Dixon’s penchant for violence is stoked by his leaden, borderline psychotic mother to whom he is unhealthily attached.
McDonagh’s latest exploration of the American psyche is by turns riotously funny and deeply sobering, cutting to the quick of social division and tearing to shreds – like the tattered billboards that Mildred papers over – the all-American dreaminess of the Capra-esque small town. A universally splendid cast is rounded out by Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Clarke Peters and Caleb Landry Jones.
"Give all the awards to McDormand, and then invent a bunch of new ones for her too." ***** Little White Lies