Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Relativity Faces Bankruptcy, Spelling More Disaster for 'Jane Got a Gun' Relativity Faces Bankruptcy, Spelling More Disaster for 'Jane Got a Gun' 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

The Messenger: Oscar Contender?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 17, 2009 at 8:10AM

Rookie director Oren Moverman's The Messenger faces the same obstacle in the fall awards season as the Michelle Monaghan star vehicle Trucker. It's one of many marginal outsider films that has to get seen before it has a chance. The movie is a stark portrait of two soldiers (Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster) who have to deliver news to families that their loved ones have died in Iraq. Not only do they have to handle their assignment delicately, but they must also absorb the shock, pain and grief of the bereaved.
1
Thompson on Hollywood

Rookie director Oren Moverman's The Messenger faces the same obstacle in the fall awards season as the Michelle Monaghan star vehicle Trucker. It's one of many marginal outsider films that has to get seen before it has a chance. The movie is a stark portrait of two soldiers (Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster) who have to deliver news to families that their loved ones have died in Iraq. Not only do they have to handle their assignment delicately, but they must also absorb the shock, pain and grief of the bereaved.

Harrelson is having a very good year; he's also terrific in a very different comedic role in Zombieland. Foster, who impressed in Six Feet Under and 3:10 to Yuma, shows chops I had never seen before. Steve Buscemi and Samantha Morton also offer standout performances.

Micro-indie Oscilloscope, which plucked the movie off the fest circuit after Sundance, opens the movie limited on November 13. Last year, awards buzz for Michelle Williams in O-scope's Wendy and Lucy helped to propel the movie further than it might otherwise have gone. But Williams wound up with an Indie Spirit nomination. That may be the award ceremony that Monaghan, Foster and Harrelson also wind up attending.

The trailer for The Messenger is on the jump.

This article is related to: Awards, Independents, Video, Oscars, Indie Spirits, Trailers


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.