Grieving mother Frances McDormand is out for justice in the new trailer for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri from In Bruges director Martin McDonagh. The film currently sits at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and early buzz says that Oscar-winner McDormand could be looking at another nomination.

Three Billboards stars McDormand as Mildred Hayes, an outraged parent who takes matters into her own hands after police fail to make headway in finding her daughter’s killer. Mildred commissions a trio of billboards leading into her town accusing the local police chief William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) of dragging his feet in the case. This leads to a tense situation between Mildred and local law enforcement, which only escalates after Willoughby’s loose-canon deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) sticks his nose in.

A new trailer for Three Billboards from Fox Searchlight puts potential Oscar contender Frances McDormand front-and-center. Framed by a touching scene of McDormand talking to a deer she doesn’t quite want to believe is her reincarnated daughter, the clip sells the movie as a gritty, dramatic story of a lone woman going to war against an uncaring system. The peaceful tone of the framing scenes is contrasted against shots of McDormand looking like she’s ready to take someone down, and even at one point inflicting violence on high school kids. The bluesy musical accompaniment drives home the sense of a rural revenge story steeped in a sense of frustration about the failures of the system.

Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri Three Billboards Trailer #2: Frances McDormand Wants Justice

The new trailer is leaner and more tense than an earlier Three Billboards trailer that sold the movie as more of a crazy black comedy in the Coen brothers vein. Considering the Oscar buzz around McDormand’s performance, it’s perhaps no surprise that the new trailer focuses in more on her and tries to make the movie look more straight-forwardly dramatic and Oscar-baity. However, given writer-director Martin McDonagh’s past work, it’s likely that Three Billboards is much more complex and interesting in terms of tone than anything that a single trailer could possibly encapsulate.

In his breakout film In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as a pair of cool hitmen, McDonagh demonstrated a unique sensibility and subtle grasp of character that made the film much more fascinating than its surface-level elements might have suggested. The off-beat tone of In Bruges made it somewhat difficult to sell and the movie ended up being very different from the trailer. So whatever Three Billboards appears to be from its marketing, you can be fairly certain that with McDonagh at the helm it will end up having unexpected shadings, and will go deeper into character than your average rural revenge flick.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri also stars Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes and Clarke Peters.

Source: Fox Searchlight

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