What Three Billboards… Says About the Year of #MeToo

Pop Culture

What Three Billboards… Says About the Year of #MeToo

Illustration: Sushant Ahire


artin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri opens with an unrelenting sequence. Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand, in a haunting performance) passes by the eponymous three billboards on the outskirts of her home, the fictional town of Ebbing. As she pauses her station wagon and stares at the derelict billboards, chewing intently on a fingernail, what seems like the beginning of a run-of-the-mill angry revenge drama actually ends up as the epilogue to Mildred’s grief. The perpetually scowling Mildred marches into the office that owns the billboards and signs a contract to rent them for a year – only so she can name and shame those who have failed to bring her teenage daughter’s killers to book.

If that sequence is not a symbol of the year of #MeToo, nothing is.