Frances McDormand is an Old Testament act of God in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), all wrath and unrelenting righteousness, avenger of womanhood desecrated, mother archangel of lost causes. You just know she will get that justice for her murdered daughter. Because her fury has purpose, like a surgical knife has purpose – to cut and to heal.
What touched me most in this film by Martin McDonagh, written as if he was shooting a full round of silver bullets into the face of an appalling humanity, was Sam Rockwell‘s performance, the character of Jason Dixon. A potty-mouthed small town cop, with a racist streak, who privately likes to dance to ABBA, his heart poisoned at birth by the hate he sucked along with his mother’s milk. Literally.
It takes a dying psychopomp in the form of his boss, played with a sly wink by Woody Harrelson, to prompt him on the path of love. What happens then is so lyrical, beautiful and profound, of course it could be completely misunderstood, if it were perceived cynically.
One needs to have gone through unbearable pain, utter despair, a complete annihilation of one’s being, to understand that prejudice is beatable, change is possible, and the only sure way to facilitate this is through igniting compassion in an aching heart.
Author: © Milana Vujkov