2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

While his brother (John Michael McDonagh) appears to enjoy the Park City backdrop (The Guard, Calvary) so does this Londoner / short film Oscar winner in Academy Award for Live Action Short Film in 2006. Martin McDonagh premiered his directorial debut In Bruges at Sundance back in 2008 and made the TIFF preemed Seven Psychopaths (2012) his sophomore project. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri lensed this past April on location in North Carolina with McDonagh reuniting with Harrelson and Rockwell with Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Frances McDormand, Lucas Hedges, Kerry Condon, John Hawkes and Caleb Landry Jones.

Gist: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.

Production Co./Producers: Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Martin McDonagh.

Prediction: Premieres section with a Berlin Film Fest showing.

U.S. Distributor: Fox Searchlight.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, editor-in-chief and film critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (La Promesse), Haneke (Caché), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Lynch (Mulholland Dr.), Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), von Trier (Breaking the Waves)