Sunday, November 20, 2022


Movie Name: Trucker
Year of Release: 2008
Director: James Mottern
Starring: Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Fillion, Benjamin Bratt, Jimmy Bennett, Joey Lauren Adams, Brandon Hanson, Bryce Johnson, Maya McLaughlin, Matthew Lawrence, Ricky Ellison
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon Prime

Synopsis and Review
James Mottern's "Trucker" is in fact his directorial debut, and the film had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, followed by a series of film festival performances until its limited release, where it was greeted with solid reviews. The film focuses its attention on the story of Diane Ford, a long-haul truck driver. Diane is very focused on her driving career, with her personal relationships coming in the shape of sporadic flings/encounters, aside from a long standing and platonic friendship/relationship she keeps with Runner, a married neighbor of hers. Her existence is thrown into disarray when she's suddenly confronted with the fact she has to take care of her son, who has spent all of his life with her ex-husband Len. Len is in fact battling cancer, and though he does have a new partner, she is also experiencing some issues with her own family, therefore preventing her from taking care of Peter. While Peter is not very excited to stay with Diane either, the both of them slowly start learning a bit about each other and how they can live together.
One of the best things going for "Trucker", much like Victor Nunez's "Ruby in Paradise", is the fact that the film doesn't have or aspires to have many pretensions about the story that is telling. Diane, the central character, has chosen to lead a life on her own terms, where she's not encumbered by emotional or family ties of any sort. The fact that she drives a truck from city to city, also allows her to distance herself from any roots she may want to potentially create, with a place or with people or even with a job (she owns her own rig). The closest relationship she has is with Runner, who is married, whom she keeps at an arm's length particularly because she knows that he is indeed married, and therefore the potential to fall into something more serious is immediately sabotaged. However has the narrative evolves and her son comes into her life, she suddenly comes to the realization her sheltered existence can't stay the same forever, and that she has left footprints behind, ones that now she has to accept and come to terms with. It's a film with faint traces from Hal Ashby's style, one that doesn't glamorize these characters' lives, opting instead for a frank depiction of someone who suddenly has to grow up and accept her responsibilities. The characters in the film could have been flushed out a bit further, the same going for their interactions and exchanges, but the central relationship between Diane and Peter comes across transparently and with tenderness. The film is a solid showcase for the talented and versatile Michelle Monaghan who made a tremendous impact in Shane Black's "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", and subsequently has been featured in Ben Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone" and Duncan Jones' "Source Code", but who is well deserving of further lead roles. The cinematography from Lawrence Sher is solid, as is the score from the always fantastic Mychael Danna. Worth watching.