The Messenger

Powerful account of two soldiers who are assigned to the Casualty Notification Office delivering the news to families of people in Iraq who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Captain Tony Stone is the old hand doing this and it’s up to him to train Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery to communicate the message properly, without getting emotional.  Both Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster are extraordinary as military men selected to perform a task no one would want.  They develop a close bond as both have no choice but to deal with a bad situation. The individuals that must drop a bombshell such as this, prove that war on the home front can also be hell.  This theme may not be a deeply original, but the story here feels fresh and is told from a new perspective.   There’s even an interesting ethical dilemma concerning actress Samantha Morton as a woman whose husband is killed in battle. Indeed it’s painful viewing to see so many get such horrible news, but it’s handled with sensitivity.  These vignettes are the most compelling scenes in the film.  It’s a testimonial to the script’s power that it never seems exploitative.  We experience nothing less than genuine emotion.

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2 Responses to “The Messenger”

  1. This was THE cast of 2009. Everyone was so amazing, especially Steve Buscemi.

    • I read your review and I totally agreed with your assessment of Woody’s performance. He was good, but Ben Foster deserved the nomination.

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