Studly Doright was on the road all this week. He was supposed to have made it home last night, but an issue arose that prevented his return. I’m still not feeling terrific, so while I was bummed that he would be gone another night, I was glad I wouldn’t have the worry of keeping him awake with my sneezing and snorting.
Having an extra and unexpected night to myself I decided to finally watch the film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri. Studly watched it one night many months ago when I was traveling, so last night seemed a perfect time for me to play catch up.
Studly wasn’t sure how he’d felt about the film, so I approached it cautiously. I knew Frances McDormand was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance, and that the film had garnered lots of praise and additional awards, so I figured it would be worth my time. I was right.
First of all, Ms. McDormand was incredible as a mom wracked with guilt and a driving need for justice as her daughter’s brutal rape and murder went unsolved. Woody Harrelson, as the police chief in the small town of Ebbings, gave a performance that haunted me all night. Why he didn’t win the Oscar is beyond my understanding. Sam Rockwell, who did win Best Supporting Actor for his role as a deputy with a whole host of issues, was nothing short of brilliant.
I loved this film while understanding why Studly did not. I identified with Mcdormand’s character from the get go. I’ve been that mom who just barely had her sh*t together, who lashed out at her children when she was really just lashing out at her own failings as a mom and wife. I felt her guilt for sending her daughter out into the world with angry words, and then never seeing her daughter alive again.
This movie has no easy resolution. That is why Studly struggled with liking it. He acknowledged that the acting was incredible, but he was dissatisfied with the way the story unfurled. The denouement wasn’t what he’d hoped. I believe that’s also why I liked it.
I could imagine the characters evolving and finding closure. The film left me with hope. While maybe we can never fix this one horrible event, our lives don’t have to be stuck in purgatory for eternity. Maybe we can move forward with understanding even as flawed as we are.
I am a lousy reviewer, but I couldn’t get Three Billboards out of my mind. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to discuss the film with others.