There are few filmmakers out there today as exciting as Martin McDonagh. The Irish playwright first got into the game with his Oscar-winning short Six Shooter in 2004, and since then has delivered two movies that can be called nothing short of genius: 2008's In Bruges, and 2012's Seven Psychopaths. Now he's back with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and the trailer makes it look like yet another piece of dark comedy gold.
This debut trailer was posted online by Fox Searchlight, and after watching it I feel the need to see the film immediately. The incredible ensemble alone is enticing (Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, John Hawkes, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones, Peter Dinklage, and more), but this footage also includes multiple laugh-out-loud moments... and not all limited to McDormand kicking teenagers in the crotch.
Based on an original script by McDonagh, the movie picks up months after the death of a young girl named Angela Hayes. The case has gone cold and the police have all but completely stopped investigating, but Angela's mother, Mildred (McDormand), is not willing to stand by and do nothing. Her first act of rebellion is to purchase ad space on three local billboards, not only loudly asking why her daughter's murder hasn't been solved, but also directly calling out Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Soon a full blown conflict erupts as Mildred does everything in her power to keep the cops' mind on finding her child's killer.
In addition to having some wonderful familiar faces from Martin McDonagh's past work (Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Zeljko Ivanek were all in Seven Psychopaths), what really makes this movie sing is just the writer/director's auteur voice. Few filmmakers use profanity quite so elegantly, and Frances McDormand's delivery is simply perfect. We may not get a better line this year than "This didn't put an end to shit, you fucking retard; this is just the fucking start. Why don't you put that on your Good Morning Missouri fucking wake up broadcast, bitch?"
Truly the only disappointing part of this Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri trailer is the fact that it doesn't feature the movie's release date - but that's mostly tied into the fact that Fox Searchlight hasn't announced one yet. We're likely seeing this trailer now because Woody Harrelson stars in Fox's Wilson, which is out this weekend, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the film is coming out soon. McDonagh's past features have been released in February and October, respectively, so there's no real pattern to grasp on to there. If there winds up being hope that the movie could bring home a few Academy Awards, it's possible that we may not get to see the dark comedy until some point in the fall.
Are you as excited as we are for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and be on the look out for release details.