FYC: Samantha Morton as "Olivia Pitterson"
The Messenger, the new war drama about the Army's Casualty Notification division, makes good use of her mysteries and those incongruously warm blue eyes. She plays a newly widowed army wife who fascinates returning soldier Ben Foster. I met the screenwriter Oren Moverman (Jesus's Son, I'm Not There) who makes his directorial debut here, at a screening of the film last month. I had to tell him how much I loved one particular shot of Morton (cinematography by Bobby Bukowski) filmed through a screen door, watching and being watched.
I'm always thankful for movies that make good use of their actors. Late in the film, Moverman even lets Morton and Foster play an entire scene in medium shot with no edits. Heaven! Naturally he got some push back on this -- he didn't tell me from whom -- but that doesn't surprise me. This rarely happens anymore since dramatic conversations are always being shot with ample coverage and constant over the shoulder closeups and back-and-forth cutting. We don't get to see actors acting together often enough in contemporary movies.
More? Another brief note on this movie and some on Fantastic Mr. Fox in my new article at Towleroad