Actress Michelle Monaghan has been relegated to playing pretty sidekicks alongside big stars or the object of affection in dumb romantic comedies (see: Mission: Impossible III; Made of Honor), yet showing the occasional flash of brilliance that pointed to potential (Gone Baby Gone). With Trucker (available on DVD 1/5), she’s finally found a worthy role that showcases just what a fine actress she is.
Written and directed by James Mottern, Trucker features Monaghan as one very hard-to-love protagonist. She’s a lone wolf truck driver with a taste for whiskey and one-night stands, and we learn that she abandoned her husband and infant son more than a decade earlier. Due to a couple of beyond-her-control twists, however, said son is deposited on her doorstep. The movie wisely doesn’t cave to clichéd Hollywood conventions and tearful mother-son reunions. It’s unsentimental, and unpredictable. And it’s totally worth a look to see Monaghan’s standout performance, which is perhaps the most surprising thing of all.
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