#36 The Messenger (2009) Dir. Oren Moverman
I first became aware of Ben Foster around the same time I became aware of Ryan Gosling and have always seen their careers running in parallel. I knew one, if not both of them would end up doing something great and Gosling seems to have skipped way ahead in that department but The Messenger proves that Foster is catching up. He’s really great in this, he has a knack for playing characters uncomfortable in their surroundings, a ticking time bomb of fury that never goes off. He’s the perfect foil to Woody Harrelson who is exactly the opposite, always seems comfortable and is constantly exploding. Harrelson was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for this and deservedly so. He’s one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. He always pops up where you least expect him but always impresses (does anybody else always forget he was in No Country for Old Men?). I’m excited to see Rampart which he stars in and is also directed by Moverman who handles this film with lots of confidence and panache. He has no obvious style to speak of but he definitely leaves his fingerprints on every scene. The use of long takes is really quite genius. Very impressed.