The Orion

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of best films of the year

Woody+Harrelson+and+Sam+Rockwell+star+in+Three+Billboards+Outside+Ebbing%2C+Missouri.+%0A%0AFox+Searchlight+Pictures%27+photo.
Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell star in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

Fox Searchlight Pictures' photo.

Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell star in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Fox Searchlight Pictures' photo.

Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell star in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Fox Searchlight Pictures' photo.

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A favorite for this year’s Best Picture award at the Academy Awards, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is playing at The Pageant Theatre this week until Thursday, Feb. 8.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has been regarded as one of the best films of 2017, with a high Rotten Tomatoes score of 93 percent.

Recently nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, many rate “Three Billboards” as a favorite for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, as well as Best Actress in a Leading Role, Frances McDormand.

When police fail to arrest a suspect for the murder of her daughter, Mildred Hayes purchases three billboards calling out the chief of police and to bring the case into the public’s eye. However, after upsetting many residents of the community, the billboards further the tension between Hayes, the police and the public.

There were many elements of this film that made “Three Billboards” a favorite among critics. The editing of the film and the composition of the score create a captivating drama that engages the audience throughout the film.

What stands out from this film, however, are the performances from actress Frances McDormand and actor Sam Rockwell.

McDormand, nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, plays as Mildred Hayes. In “Three Billboards.” McDormand does an outstanding job portraying a strong-willed mother who will stop at nothing until the mystery of her daughter’s murder is resolved.

Known for her work in “Fargo” (1996), “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012) and starring in many Coen Brothers’ films, McDormand never fails to deliver a strong performance.

Snother standout performance was Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of a racist police officer, Jason Dixon.

Jason Dixon, at first, is the antagonist of the film. Dixon is meant to be hated by the audience because of his bigoted ideals, unprofessional demeanor and overall rude attitude.

Delivering a performance that organically creates disgust and anger within the audience is equally as hard as a performance that captivates and emotionally evokes the audience. Yet, Sam Rockwell does exactly that, earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

However, what makes Rockwell’s performance outstanding is, not only the character himself, but the development of his character. The character arc of Jason Dixon is one of the best uses of character redemption that has been seen in recent years.

The character development of Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell’s characters owes a debt to the writing of the film. Written by renowned playwright Martin McDonagh, some of the best scenes in this film, including McDormand’s powerful monologue, would not have had such an integral impact on the film had it not been for the writing and dialogue of this film.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is one of the best dramas in recent years and will most definitely be a contender at this year’s 90th Academy Awards.

View the trailer for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of best films of the year