Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is the foul-mouthed dark comedy from British playwright, screenwriter and director of In Bruges, Martin McDonagh. Award-winning actress Frances McDormand leads in a part McDonagh wrote with her in mind as the raging Mildred Hayes, an aggrieved mother chasing justice for the unresolved murder of her daughter, Angela (Kathryn Newton). She finds herself embroiled in a feud with the local authorities, namely the town sheriff (Woody Harrelson) and his second-in-command (Sam Rockwell), even resorting to publicising her messages on the town’s billboards.

The film’s UK premiere ended the 61st BFI Film Festival on a high, forming the London-based event’s closing gala. We were there as the star-studded cast hit the red carpet at the Odeon Leicester Square.

We had the pleasure of speaking with director Martin McDonagh himself on his inspiration for the film, writing Mildred for McDormand and keeping such an array of characters and big personality actors in perfect balance.

Kathryn Newton, whose appearance in the film is short-lived but whose character the story revolves around as the murdered daughter of Mildred, spoke of the experience of being on set with the ensemble cast, working with McDonagh and her upcoming – and contrasting – comedy film Blockers.

We also had the chance to speak briefly with Sandy Martin, who plays Mama Dixon, and Clarke Peters who is Abercrombie.

Festival director Clare Stewart reflected on the success of the two-week festival, which screened over 250 films in the UK’s capital, and the blistering performance from Frances McDormand at the centre of Three Billboards, a film worthy of seeing out the final day of the event.


By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 16th October 2017.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is released nationwide on 12th January 2018.

For further information about the event visit the official BFI website here.