The Messenger (2009)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 2009.  Oscilloscope, Omnilab Media, Sherazade Film Development, BZ Entertainment, The Mark Gordon Company, Good Worldwide. Screenplay by , Oren Moverman.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 returns from Iraq with a severe injury to his eye. After being welcomed home by his ex-girlfriend () who is now engaged to someone else, Foster is assigned to join Gulf War veteran Woody Harrelson on a pretty hairy assignment: notifying soldiers’ Next Of Kin when they are killed in battle. The assignment brings the two of them to the home of a woman (Samantha Morton) who captures Foster’s sympathy and the two of them develop a relationship. He also gets to know Harrelson better and the two of them express the residual madness that has spilled over since their time overseas. This film by Oren Moverman has it all: humour and pathos, dramatic intensity and mild poignancy, and it is all balanced to perfection thanks to a very strong script and intelligent direction. Foster is outstanding, while Harrelson steals every shot he’s in with his perfect combination of war-scarred madness and charismatic humour. The only sore point is Morton, who despite being an amazing talent, doesn’t quite pull off suburban trash and sticks out more than she should; it’s more of an excellent imitation of a character than an embodiment of one. It’s a small complaint, however, as the rest of the picture is so incredibly fine.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson); Best Original Screenplay

Berlin Film Festival Award:  Best Screenplay

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson)

Screen Actors Guild Award NominationBest Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s