Wednesday, January 06, 2010

of the
Part 14

I recent-
ly review-
ed the fol-
film for
, and thought the results were worth sharing.

(James Mottern, US, 2008, 90 mins.)

A big rig driver changes her approach to life when her domestic
situation undergoes a dramatic shift in James Mottern's debut,
Trucker. Seemingly foot loose and fancy free, Diane Ford (Mi-
chelle Monaghan, Gone Baby Gone) lives in San Diego and lik-
es to go out drinking and dancing with her best friend, Run-
ner (Nathan Fillion, always good value), when she isn't work-
ing, sleeping, or picking up strangers for one-night stands.

After her ex-husband, Len
(Benjamin Bratt), checks in-
to the hospital for cancer
treatment, his wife, Jenny
(Joey Lauren Adams), who
has family matters with which to contend, drops Diane's 11-year-old son, Peter (Jimmy Bennett,
Star Trek's junior Kirk), off at her doorstep for a few weeks. Feisty
and foul-mouthed like his Mom, they spend most of the movie circ-
ling each other warily, wolves in human form. It doesn't help that
she hasn’t seen him for 10 years, but then she takes him on a run
to New Mexico, enrolls him in school, and a fragile bond ensues.

Trucker is the kind of film that fails to explain why Runner
doesn't get a divorce when his marriage brings him no joy—
clearly, he would rather be with Diane—but Mottern, former
producer of the Slamdance Film Festival, knows when to let
the audience fill in those sorts of blanks for themselves. His
screenplay brings to mind other films about independent-
minded single mothers, like Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn't
Live Here Anymore, but he reveals a sure hand as a direc-
tor, and Monaghan, who has often wasted her talents on in-
ferior fare, such as The Heartbreak Kid and Made of Hon-
or, gives her best performance to date. Recommended.

Click here for Movie of the Month, Part 13: The Merry Gentleman

Endnote: Slightly revised from the original text. Im-
ages from The Portland Mercury and Awards Daily.

No comments: