Movie #83 The Messenger
(2009, US, d. Oren Moverman)
It’s been awhile since I watched a straight drama so when choosing between Knife in the Water and this, I chose this. Featuring strong performances from Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton, The Messenger is a quiet, but tugging drama about an injured soldier (Ben Foster) who must serve his last 3 months of service in the Army’s Casualty Notification service, informing next of kin of the death of loved ones in the Armed Services. It’s written exceptionally well for a war drama and for some reason got me thinking a lot of Jarhead. In my own head, this is a great companion piece to that film, but that may just be me. More than anything, its about moving on and how time is never a friend in that situation. The characters (again a compliment to the writing) provide a great complement to the theme of the piece as they struggle with their own forms of inner pain or unfortunate happenings. Harrelson easily deserved his Oscar nomination, though I think Foster as well provided a great anchor to the film. The greatest part of the film was how, by the end, the audience, too, was a little more desensitized to their meetings with the affected families.