Movie Review: 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances McDormand as Mildred in 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an excellent movie. The acting, topics discussed, characters development; they’re really good. It doesn’t come as a surprise that it won 2 oscars and was nominated for 6 more. It is a movie about a mother (Mildred) in Ebbing who rented billboards to attract attention to her daughter who was raped and killed approximately 9 months ago. She thought the police department didn’t pay enough attention to the case since the murderer(s) were still not caught. At the end of the movie it was still an unsolved case but at least she tried. 

Rape was an issue present in the movie but it was never really discussed apart from the fact that Mildred’s daughter was raped. However, systemic racism and violence was thoroughly discussed through one character: Officer Dixon. At the beginning of the movie, we as the audience learned that Officer Dixon tortured some black folks but he wasn’t fired or warned. I don’t live in the US but I hear about tortured, killed black folks in US all the time. A very recent example would be George Floyd. If a black cop tortured a white folk, the situation for that cop would be far worse both in real life and in the movie. This Officer Dixon also didn’t stop with black folks, he attacked a white folk horrendously as well: just because he was angry at him, he beat him up and threw him out of the window from the second floor. It shows very greatly how a cop can use his powers which are given to him to protect the public to hurt the public itself. 

Officer Dixon was a representation of some problems in US police, but he also had a great character development. As stated above he was racist and violent at the beginning of the problem but he became someone who is trying to help solve the case of Mildred’s daughter. When Mildred burnt the police station on him, what he did was taking the case files of Mildred’s daughter. It happened because someone said good things to him. The old chief’s letter about how he can become a good detective changed his perspective on how he sees himself as a person and others. He wanted to find that horrible person, he liked the view in his mind where he is a good detective. He needed those good words, that encouragement and belief in him to become someone good. Of course this doesn’t erase the things he did to black folks but at least it seems like he was making a move to do some good to people. One other characters which had a character development was Mildred herself but it was a bad character development. She turned into someone who can’t contain anger. At the beginning she poured her anger into renting billboards. She burned the police station when Dixon was in there assuming that he was the one who burned her billboards. Yes, he was an asshole before that but you can’t just try to kill someone by assuming things. Maybe jail or probation could be an appropriate punishment but not death. 

The acting in the movie is superb. Frances McDormand who plays Mildred really makes us feel the loss, frustration, hope and sometimes the lack of it after losing a daughter throughout the movie. Plus, Sam Rockwell who plays Officer Dixon makes us hate him with his rooted racist tendencies. At the same time we feel his need and desire to do something right after he reads the letter from the old chief. The emotions were very raw and conveyed really good. It is a fantastic movie and I recommend it to everyone.

Frances McDormand as Mildred and Sam Rockwell as Officer Dixon in 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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