This should be a fun review to write.
First of all, let me get it off my chest that the movie should have just been called Three Billboards. I don't know why they went with this title.
I loved this movie and was constantly moved while watching it, trying to figure out exactly what it was. Enjoying the ride the entire way, mind you.
I think in many ways this movie is this year's Manchester by the Sea but doesn't hit the same level of perfection (but it's close). I almost wonder if Lucas Hedges called his agent on the wrap-up day of shooting Manchester and said, "put me in another one of these." While Manchester was a heavy drama laced with some very welcome comedy, this one is much more of a comedy laced with extremely heavy drama. Let me say, and this is important, if you disliked Manchester for being too dreary, you will really like this.
That being said, I was the ONLY person laughing in the entire movie theatre which constantly made me wonder if I was offside. I'm finding a ton of this hilarious but there is so much drama going on that maybe lots of people don't get it, and think it's supposed to be a super serious drama. The thing is, why do we have to pigeon-hole it so badly? Can't it be both? Can't it be something to one viewer and a totally different experience to another?
The performances in this film are insane. Frances McDormand is a lock for the Oscar in my opinion, she is stoic as the lead and hugely entertaining to watch. Woody Harrelson blew me away as the police chief. The interrogation scene between the two fo them is the stand out scene for me that will stay with me for some time. I was buried in my seat, mouth agape, in awe of what a was watching in terms of masterful filmmaking. Unbelievable.
Sam Rockwell's role is controversal so i won't get into it, but I really dug it. All the ending scenes were very impactful. And Peter Dinklage might have pulled off one of the first performances post Game of Thrones where I'm not distracted by thinking of that HBO show during another performance. He was great in this.
Remember, it's okay to enjoy this as a comedy or a drama. You're in for a real solid treat if you can enjoy it for both at the same time.
Oh, and I think this will get the Best Picture Oscar. I think the Academy will prefer it to Lady Bird or Dunkirk.
Very strongly recommended.
Heart rating: 4.5 stars
Brain rating: 4.5 stars