“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018)” Review

You drilled a hole in the dentist?

Why did I watch it?

Funny trailer; France McDormand.

Did it meet expectations?

It’s a black comedy; and it’s certainly very funny. I expected dark – this is a ‘comedy’ which somehow arises from a girl being brutally raped, murdered and burned. So black it’s approaching singularity. Yet I’m not quite sure I was prepared for the roller coaster of hate.

The script deftly balances enough sympathy and humour to make these hate-filled characters watchable – thanks to intelligent performances (especially McDormand and Woody Harrelson). It’s another film to under use the brilliant Željko Ivanek (Homicide‘s Ed Danvers) though.

It has attracted controversy for portraying the redemption of a racist cop; I’m not sure there’s much redemption at all going on here. However I’ll admit I was uncomfortable not so much with the amount of prejudice on display (such a variety of bigotry) but with how much of it went unaddressed. Not enough to stop me enjoying the film, however, nor to stop me laughing out loud throughout.

You should watch it if…

  • You like Coen-esque black comedy
  • You like your humour mixed with with tragedy and destructive hatred

You shouldn’t watch it if…

  • You’re easily offended

Next up: 6 Days (2017)

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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