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Okay, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won four Golden Globes, including best picture. It’s up for a few Oscars, too. The acting Globes were well earned. Somehow, it won best screenplay. Yet I can’t bring myself to join those accolades, mainly due to the flaws in the script. We’ll get to that shortly.

The story centers around Mildred Hayes, whose daughter was raped and murdered, and the police haven’t made any progress. Frustrated, she rents three billboards demanding action. She gets considerably more than she bargained for. 

Frances McDormand is at her very best portraying Mildred. You can understand why she’s so bitter, and can completely understand how such a devastating loss can take all joy away from life; I’ve seen it over and over again in the families of those who have lost loved ones to senseless violence. It takes a long time to heal. 

Similarly, Sam Rockwell is a marvel as racist cop Jason Dixon; his anger runs deep, and seldom does Rockwell’s Dixon seem far from exploding. He brings such a deep sincerity to the role, you almost have to wonder about him in real life. I won’t be surprised if he wins an Oscar. McDormand, too.   

Also, a nod to Woody Harrelson, who is in fine form as Police Chief William Willoughby, probably the sanest resident of Ebbing. He manages to give Willoughby charm and depth as the chief juggles any number of difficult circumstances. Harrelson is a long shot for the Oscar, but he could pull it off.

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