Saturday, October 17, 2009

If You See One Movie This Year, Make It Trucker

Last night, I went to a screening of the movie Trucker in Beverly Hills and was blown away. This might be the best movie I've seen all year. Maybe in multiple years. It's amazing. Michelle Monaghan, Jimmy Bennett, and the writer/director James Mottern were there for a Q & A after the movie. Michelle Monaghan is so cute in person, so full of big laughs and in the movie she plays a tough, unsentimental truck driver.

The synopsis from the website is: Diane Ford (Michelle Monaghan), a vivacious and successful independent truck driver, leads a carefree life of long-haul trucking, one night stands and all-night drinking until the evening her estranged 11-year-old son (Jimmy Bennett) shows up at her door.

Peter hasn’t seen his mother since he was a baby and wants Diane as little as she wants him; but with his father Len (Benjamin Bratt) in the hospital, Diane and Peter are stuck with each other – at least for a while.

Burdened with this new responsibility and seeing the life of freedom she’s fought for jeopardized, Diane steps reluctantly into her past and looks sidelong at a future that is not as simple or straightforward as she had once believed.

Also appearing in Trucker are Nathan Fillion and Joey Lauren Adams.

I was impressed at every point by this movie and in the Q & A, the audience was echoing my thoughts. There were a lot of comments like, "Wow, you got the whole blue-collar thing right on. The clothes, look, the walk, the voices, the way the characters carried themselves was very true to type." The director, James Mottern responded by saying he grew up in the coal country of VA and then lived in Riverside, CA and he based the look on those two locations. As someone who also lived in Riverside, I like that the movie was set there and that it didn't try to romanticize the look and feel.

Michelle Monaghan said that she feels that throughout the movie, the characters continually play against type, doing exactly what you wouldn't expect in another movie, but exactly what is true to character. **Slight spoiler alert**: There is a scene where Michelle's character smells her son while he's sleeping. You expect a character in that situation to kiss him when she leans in close. But this character, Diane Ford, is not sentimental, she doesn't kiss him. She just inhales deeply and moves away.

This is a ridiculously moving, amazing, entertaining, and real movie. I recommend you all go see it, and though I know it has a limited release, it is definitely worth a drive.


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