When I was 16, I had a friend who died after a sudden emergency heart transplant, when her body rejected the organ. I was put in the horrendous position of having to tell her boyfriend the bad news. I guess you never know how someone is going to react to that kind of news — he was angry. Damn near killed me.
But can you imagine having to do that as your job? The Messenger follows two army men — Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster — tasked with notifying the next of kin after service men die. The trailer (below) looks uncomfortably powerful. It comes from debut director Oren Moverman, and though the trailer hints at the entire narrative trajectory of the film, I get the feeling that this movie is less about plot, and more about performances. You could hardly find a better guy to center your movie on than Ben Foster, and the addition of Samantha Morton — as the widow of a fallen officer — certainly doesn’t hurt (nor does the Willie Nelson rendition of “Amazing Grace”).
I expect great things from The Messenger, although I doubt it’s going to be a movie I’ll much look forward to seeing.