Contemplate this unknown piece of landscape until something comes up in the context of the old billboards you were shown before.
The action is brought with the context of a car.
The concept of the film refers to:
Billboards + Car + Person (+ Outside of Ebbing, Missouri)
A PERSON in a CAR drives by the three BILLBOARDS (outside of Ebbing, Missouri - like in the title)
The previous montage introduced the environment of the film, the constant referral point in the narrative. This shot introdues an action within that environment and prepares for the introduction of the Protagonist • Editor
The shot does not include all of the billboards in the frame. A wider shot including all of them would cause the car to receive less of the screen space. Therefore, using just the idea of the billboards (1.5 of them) on the side of the frame, says that if anything shows up on this road will carry the actual meaning to the billboards • DP
Including the billboards within the frame also sets up the geographical relationship between the billboards and direction the car comes from. It is important because all three billboards face the same direction, and only the car coming from that side will see what the billboards contain. Because the billboards have their back to the audience, it is unsure what content they carry right now • DP
Introduction of the Protagonist
She appears first just as an reflection in a small mirror, not as the direct shot of the actress • Editor
The shot itself is Wide but the reflection is like another shot within that Wide one. It is a distant Close-Up on her eyes • DP
The current content of the billboards is about to be revealed but only through a tilt up shot carried with the car that is the center of the action in this scene.
Now the actual Wide shot with all three billboards was used. At this point in the scene, the importance of that single car on the road was already established, so its smaller screen space does not disturb its importance • Editor
The character passed one billboard but...
... something intriguing made her stop right by the next billboard.
Is she looking at the content of the billboard or at the billboard itself (construction)?
Is she seeing a potential in the billboard to paste her own content?
This is a shot of just her thinking. Since she is not performing any dynamic action, the audience has a chance to observe her Costume: a middle-aged woman, with average not-so-fresh haircut, without any make-up, dressed neutrally, with not so glamorous nervous habit of biting her finger tips.
She really thinks something through quite seriously. The Protagonist's agenda throughout the film will be quite dignified.
Total of 5(?) shots of her thinking and staring at the billboard. It does not feel long while watching the film, it builds up the curiosity of what is it she considers putting on the billboard, and why does she seem to be down about it.
She does consider putting her own content on the billboard, this is the name of the advertisement company that owns the billboards. And the place the billboards are standing is indeed the Ebbing that the audience knows from the title of the film.