Is Three Billboards outside Ebbing: Missouri a true story?

THE Oscar-winning film features a strong-willed mum Mildred Hayes who is on a mission to find out who killed her daughter.

But the moving, darkly comic, and emotive film is actually based on the case of Kathy Page.

Is Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri a true story?

Frances McDormand plays the grief-stricken mum who was furious after police failed to solve her daughter's murder.

Deciding to opt for the shock tactic, Mildred Hayes purchased three billboards just outside the town.

The signs hold the police accountable for letting her daughter down after she was raped and killed.

It was inspired by a 27-year-old murder case in Texas that remains unsolved.

Investigators have doubled the reward for any information that leads to an arrest in the murder of Kathy Page, 34.

In May 14, 1991, Page was found dead inside her car in Vidor, Texas. It was 100 yards from her home and was bonnet-down in a ditch.

But authorities believe that her death was staged – and that it was no accident.

Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll tells PEOPLE that the case is still open and believes that Page's death was likely a "crime of passion".

Page's dad, James Fulton, began putting up billboards along 1-10 in the Vidor area.

In 2012 he put one billboard up and accused Page's estranged husband, Steve Page.

He claimed Vidor Police Department has taken bribes instead of catching the killer, according to Beaumount Enterprise.

“Steve Page Brutally Murdered his Wife in 1991,” the billboard stated. “Vidor P.D. Does Not Want to Solve This Case. I Believe They Took A Bribe. The Attorney General Should Investigate.”

In the film, Mildred's billboards read: "Still no arrests?", "How come, Chief Willoughby?", "Raped while dying".

What is the film about?

Seven years after Mildred Hayes’ daughter was raped and burned alive, the lack of progress in the search for her killers prompts her to take action in the form of some nifty sloganeering on three knackered billboards on the town’s border.

“Raped while dying”, “Still no arrests” and “How come, Chief Willoughby?” don’t make for pretty reading and the town are not happy.

Taking the brunt of her blame are the local police force helmed by a particularly empathetic Chief (A wonderful Woody Harrelson) and a truly nasty piece of work in his deputy (A career best for Sam Rockwell).

Justice at all costs is the message, it just isn’t being received particularly clearly.

Throughout it’s relentlessness are many glimpses of humour (largely from Samara Johnson’s brilliant timed and tipsy Penelope) and pure pathos – particularly from hopeless romantic and just plain hopeless James (Peter Dinklage) and one of the most beautiful suicide notes I’ve ever heard read.

I hate watching films where I’m TOLD someone is going to win the Oscar – as I usually try and be contrary, but I can’t help it – This year all the favourites are well deserved and none more so than Frances McDormand – she’s lowkey genius.

So damn understated – the shift in relationship between Mildred and Dixon will go down as one of the greats.

How can I watch it?

You can watch the film on Disney+, or on Channel 4 on May 29 at 9.30pm.

It's also available on Amazon Prime or Sky Cinema.

The film is one hour and 56 minutes.

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