Attention Academy voters, and movie fans: Friday brings a Best Actress performance in a very indie film called “Trucker.” For all the actresses who say no good parts are written for women, this is it.
We saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2008 ‘ that’s right, 2008 ‘ and have waited all this rime for its release. Michelle Monaghan stars as Diane, driver of an 18 wheeler, who must be tough as a guy and still be soft enough for motherhood.
Monaghan’s textured performance, directed by James Mottern, is reminsicent of Melissa Leo in “Frozen River,” Bonnie Bedelia in “Heart Like a Wheel,” and Charlize Theron in “North Country.” Writing in The Hollywood Reporter, Stephen Farber, one of my favorite film writers, compared Monaghan to Sally Field in “Norma Rae” when he saw “Trucker” in April 2008.
What can we do to rally the Oscar troops for Michelle Monaghan? “Trucker” has been sitting around, cash poor, for 18 months. This is a travesty when you think of some of the films that have come and gone in that time. Now Plum Pictures is sending it out there. Let’s greet it with the enthusiasm it deserves.
You can read all about “Trucker” at www.truckermovie.net. I just realized when I went there that the producers are using a quote of mine from my old column. I compared Monaghan to Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl.” So be it; I stand behind the quote. Monaghan’s co-stars are Benjamin Bratt and Nathan Fillion, each of whom do excellent work.
“Trucker” gets a very slow rollout this weekend and next in New York, Los Angeles, and a couple other cities. The website has all the information. There are also special events in New York tomorrow night and Saturday night, in the East Village, and in Westchester at the Jacobs Burns Center where the very smart Janet Maslin will do a Q&A with Monaghan.
By the way, if you don’t know Michelle’s name off the top of your head, here’s a primer: the statuesque brunette was Casey Affleck’s girlfriend and partner in “Gone Baby Gone,” and Tom Cruise’s wife in “Mission: Impossible 3.” (Nice they found some tall guys for her in “Trucker.”) She has four more movies on their way since “Trucker” including “Due Date,” the Todd Phillips comedy she’s filming right now with Robert Downey, Jr.