Monday, July 25, 2011
Finally caught this flick on cable the other day after it had been recommended by so many friends as well as critical acclaim.
Most of that acclaim went to the performances of Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster in the two leads. They're both terrific actors (wasn't Foster nominated for an Oscar for his performance in THE MESSENGER?) and I liked them in this, or rather liked their performances for the most part, but...
...for my taste, they were uneven, at times a bit pushed, in ways that had me thinking of them as themselves rather than as the characters. The true revelation for me was Samantha Morton.
Her performance as the suddenly widowed wife of an enlisted military man killed in action is so powerfully understated and real, I had to look her up and be reminded of her equally impressive turns in ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE and Jim Sheridan's great underrated flick, IN AMERICA, and more.
Thinking about the performances I could remember along with this one in THE MESSENGERS makes her right now, for me, the Brando of these times. I hope she's being cast in future movies because I can't wait to see how she'll transform herself to own the characters she's hired to portray. She's now one of my new icons of movie acting. Samantha Morton.