A hot-shot for this year’s awards-season, Martin McDonagh goes stateside with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, but what’s it all about? Here are the facts…
Spoilers may follow.
What’s it about?
Seven months on from the rape and murder of her daughter Angela, Mildred Hayes vents her anger at the lack of an arrest by hiring three billboards near the fictional town of Ebbing, Missouri.
The first reads “Raped while dying”, the second “And still no arrests?”, before the final asks “How come, Chief Willoughby?”
With the people of Ebbing upset by the billboards, Chief Willoughby and his police force angered and Mildred scarred by her unresolved grief, tensions are high in the town. Explosions follow in a plot loaded with twists, turns and devastating surprises.
Who’s in it?
At the heart of the awards-buzz is Frances McDormand for her stunning turn as Mildred. McDormand has already an Oscar under her belt for Fargo and she’s just won a Best Actress gong at the Golden Globes. You may know McDormand for her roles in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day or North Country too.
In an intriguing twist of trivia, although the part was written with her in mind, McDormand was only convinced to take the part after persuasion by husband Joel Coen. The actress had been concerned that, at 60, she was too old to be Angela’s mother.
Recently of War for the Planets of the Apes, Woody Harrelson co-stars as Sheriff Willoughby, with Sam Rockwell as Officer James Dixon. Both today accrued BAFTA nods,
Three Billboards also finds roles for Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones and, breakthrough star of Manchester by the Sea, Lucas Hedges.
Who’s made it?
The marvellous Martin McDonagh has masterminded this one. The British and Irish creator of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths has written, directed and produced the film – his first not to star Colin Farrell.
Anomalisa and Being John Malkovich composer Carter Burwell has provided the score, with Marvel stalwart Ben Davis on the cinematography. Davis next project will be Tim Burton’s upcoming live-action Dumbo.
The film is edited by Jon Gregory (A United Kingdom), with production design by Inbal Weinberg (The Place Beyond the Pines) and art direction from Jesse Rosenthal (Split, Black Panther).
When’s it out?
Having made its UK debut at the London Film Festival last year, Three Billboards is to go wide on 12 January.
Watch the trailer here: