After a week of film shorts, features, and documentaries focusing on music or life’s challenges, the CMJ Film Festival ended on just as much as a high note as it started. The close of the film festival was marked with the screening and Q&A for the film The Messenger starring Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson and directed by Oren Moverman.
Both Foster and Harrelson deliver outstanding performances in a compelling and riveting story of two US Army officers assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service. The Messenger takes us on Officer Ben Montgomery’s (Foster) emotional roller-coaster, as he heals from his scars from Iraq as well as the lost of his one true love, Kelly (Jena Malone). While Officer Montgomery is learning the ins and outs of his newly assigned position, he develops an unlikely friendship with Officer Tony Stone (Harrelson) and an unexpected attraction to a young widow, Samantha Morton (Olivia Pitterson).
It is refreshing to see a film take a unique angle on military life that goes beyond the battle field. In honoring those soldiers who have lost their lives for this country, The Messenger delicately and respectfully allows us, the viewer, to walk in the shoes of the family members of those soldiers as well as the soldiers who have to notify those families. How do you get back to life after receiving and delivering painful news? It is a long painful process, but as we discover from this must see film, sometimes what you need is where you least expect it. The Messenger will be released November 13th.
Q & A with Woody Harrelson and Director Oren Moverman