Ok, if you haven't seen this film yet, I highly recommend it!!! "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017) stars Frances McDormand as Midred Hayes. Midred is a newly divorced woman who tries to pick up the pieces of her life after the violent death of her daughter 7 months prior to the start of the film. I know this sound like a complete downer that you'd probably want to avoid, but I want to stress that the themes in this film are very informative, thought provoking and eye opening.
Director Martin McDonagh guides the cast through this dark and at times comedic story lead by McDormand (Midred) , Woody Harrelson (Chief Willoughby) and Sam Rockwell (Officer Dixon).
What I have always liked about each of these actors and their past efforts is that they own their roles. I find this to be especially true with Frances McDormand who helps us see the pain and regret that a woman can feel when losing a child. She shows us emotions of abandonment by spouse, community and the law, each having their own responsibility to protect her and family.
Each character in the film has their own cross to bare; some crosses are heavier than others. The real break out star on this project is Sam Rockwell. Rockwell has always been a solid character actor and here he continues to deliver. Officer Dixon goes through a range of changes as his character (who practices racism behind the badge) must learn how to exercise empathy, seeing pain and hopelessness thorough the eyes of others.
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017)
The most outstanding theme in this tale, however, is its loud indictment against a society that still treats it's women and young girls as optional things; trash if you will, that can be kept or thrown away while no one blinks twice. The film also goes so far as to show how women devalue and mistreat one another as an underlying result of how their surroundings make them see themselves (the C-Word and B-word were used heavily between several female characters). The dismal pain of this story is a woman who needs to be heard. She is in dire need of letting her peers know that her daughter meant something; since she cannot yell loud enough for everyone to hear, she puts the voice of her words on three billboards that were previously abandoned. She simply did not feel that Chief Willoughby and his staff served enough justice to her daughter and her family in their time of need.
"Three Billboards..." grabs us by the throat and yells "PAY ATTENTION". Pay attention and don't forget tragedies like a Sandra Bland, Bresha Meadows, Justine Damond or Cyntoia Brown. The film holds a mirror up to everyone and says stop the beating, verbal abuse, adultery, rape and murder committed against women daily. It says the suffering, pain and fatalities must stop; practice empathy, not apathy towards our young, middle-aged and elderly women.
I beg you to see this movie. Get a glimpse into some of why the #timesup movement is necessary.