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.


-K- said...

I haven't seen it but its on my Netflix Instant Play list. If I wasn't watching "The Ox Bow Incident", maybe I'd put it on right now.

And I think I saw Samantha Morton's name included with all the actors that received their big break from Woody Allen. If I'm not mistaken, its a pretty impressive list.

Lally said...

yeah, this made me want to go back and watch her previous outings again, those that I saw, and for the first time for those I didn't.

AlamedaTom said...

Hey Lal:
Finally back from vacation and able to read all of your posts that I missed.
Regarding Samantha Morton many forget that she was one of the empaths in Minority Report, the one that Tom Cruise busted out. Minority Report is a terrific movie, directed by Spielberg and based on a Philip K. Dick story.

~ Willy