The Messenger (Oscilloscope Laboratories) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster play Army Casualty Notification Officers in The Messenger.

The Messenger

Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Directed by Oren Moverman; Starring: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Jena Malone

Nov 11, 2009 Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk
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Hats off to Adam Yauch’s Oscilloscope Laboratories for picking up this potent 2009 Sundance selection starring Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson as Army Casualty Notification Officers, whose duty is to report the deaths of soldiers to their next of kin. The strict rules of the thankless tasks necessitate home visits, and although the dreadful news can be met with verbal and physical attacks, no touching is allowed to comfort the grieving. A testament to director Oren Moverman and his co-writer Alessandro Camon, the sight of Foster and Harrelson approaching New Jersey neighborhood front doors is just as tense as anything in The Hurt Locker.

Foster plays the withdrawn Will Montgomery, a soldier who, after being injured in Iraq, is sent home to complete his last three months of service. Foster steers the film with restrained anguish, but as heart-wrenching as The Messenger is in places, a redemptive humanity develops in Foster’s scenes with Harrelson and the always-impressive Samantha Morton. She plays a widow who sparks Will’s interest, and the film is distinguished by a prolonged, quietly emotional single take between Foster and Morton.

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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True Blood
April 9th 2010

The Messenger is a good movie. I really like it. Thanks. :)