Film Screening 8th March, 2011

Poster for The Messenger

The Messenger 

8:00 PM, 8th March, 2011

  • MA
  • 113 mins
  • 2009
  • Oren Moverman
  • Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
  • Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone

Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Foster) has recently returned to the United States from Iraq. Wounded in the war and decorated, he is assigned to the Army's Casualty Notification Service that is responsible for notifying the next-of-kin of fallen soldiers. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Harrelson), Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing at the home front.

During the course of his work he is drawn towards Olivia (Morton), to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband's death. Will's initial emotional detachment begins to dissolve and the film reveals itself as a humourous, moving and very human portrait of grief, friendship and survival. At the heart of the story is the relationship between the two men: Tony, the semi-recovering alcoholic who's never seen action and Ben who's seen too much.

The performances by Foster, Harrelson and Morton are astounding. The Messenger is the directorial debut of Oren Moverman who wrote the screenplays for Jesus' Son and I'm Not There. Moverman served four years as a paratrooper in the Israeli army and his empathy for Will's character is particularly perceptible. Don't be put off by what may appear to be a depressing subject matter as this is a very moving and powerful film and one of last year's best.

Tony Fidanza