On Jan. 21, Kirsten Bell hosted the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The show honored the outstanding achievements in film and television during the year of 2017.
While many awards were handed out to deserving actors and actresses, one movie that stood out in particular was Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri.
The film won in every category it was nominated for, including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand) and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Sam Rockwell).
Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes. Mildred is a divorced mother of two, who is searching for justice after her daughter, Angela, was sexually assaulted and killed.
The movie opens with Mildred driving into Ebbing, and seeing three abandoned billboards. Within the first 5 minutes of the film, she gets the idea to rent the billboards and use them to call out the town police department, specifically chief Bill Willoughby, for the lack of progress made in her daughter case.
Bill, who is portrayed by Woody Harrelson, is a well-liked police officer who is dying of pancreatic cancer.
Through the beginning portion of the film, Mildred and Bill don’t see eye to eye. While Bill claims he’s doing everything he can to catch the guy who harmed her daughter, Mildred believes he’s not doing enough.
The people in the town begin to turn on Mildred because of her bold actions, particularly Jason Dixon. Jason, who is a violent and corrupt police officer, is willing to do anything to get the billboards down.
Perhaps the best example in the film of Jason’s unstable behavior is when he throws local advisorisor, Red Welby, out a two story window and beats him in the street.
However, Jason undergoes extensive character development. After being fired and facing a near-death experience, Jason begins to have a change of heart.
Later in the film, Jason overhears a conversation between two men. One of the men is bragging about sexually assaulting a women in graphic detail. Convinced it’s the same guy how harmed Angela, Jason attacks him in an attempt to get some of his DNA. The attack builds the foundation of the friendship between Jason and Mildred that is only seen at the end of the film.
Similar to many other movies that have been releases this past year, Three Billboards showcases a strong female lead. While the reason Mildred rents out the billboards is due to tragedy, the movie is about resilience.
It’s impossible to understand how heartbreaking it is to lose a child, let alone have them murdered. Instead of focusing on the mother’s struggle to carry on after tragedy strikes, the movie instead looks at her bravery and desire for justice.
The film has received seven Oscar nominations including Best Motion picture, and Best Actress for Frances McDormand performance as Mildred Hayes.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org