“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” challenges narrative norms.
Martin McDonagh may be a filmmaker from England, but he certainly understands America. His take on small town life in the USA is insightful and uncanny. In “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” it feels like we’ve been plopped down right in the middle of the town locals and their problems. McDonagh expertly develops character that drives story, but the narrative doesn’t always go where you’d expect it. He twists and turns his plot, as well as the behavior of his players. His darkly comic drama keeps us guessing throughout and makes for one of the more absorbing films of 2017. All that, and he lures award-worthy performances out of Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson to boot.