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Convoy of raves roll out for Michelle Monaghan in Trucker

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Thanks to Cahiers for tipping us this afternoon’s tweet from Roger Ebert:

”Trucker” is a wonderful new movie, with a career-changing performance by Michelle Monaghan. Opens 10/9.

That’s a powerful money quote to cap a week of like-minded praise.

Marshall Fine, Huffington Post:For one thing, Trucker has the ring of emotional truth. For another, it approaches this formula with a difference: The person pressured into acting the parent is a woman, not a man. And, finally, the film is built around a strikingly tough-minded but beautifully drawn performance by Michelle Monaghan…

Elfin but wiry, Monaghan easily embodies the flinty, no-nonsense Diane, a woman who can take care of herself in all senses. Monaghan plays her as neither a trouble-maker nor a trouble-seeker — just a bristly, self-sufficient person whose connections to others tend to be obligation-free.

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Ms. Monaghan’s febrile intensity shifts touchingly to reveal unexpected flashes of warmth beneath the hard-boiled facade. She reminds one of Famke Janssen in the 2007 film Turn the River, as a poker-playing pool hustler trying to scrape together the money to reunite with another 11-year-old abandoned at birth. In a gender-casting shift, Ms. Monaghan is terrific in a traditionally male role.

Back in August a few bloggers — Kris Tapley, Brad Brevet and myself included — were put on the defensive by another writer* when we ran the Trucker trailer and speculated about tossing an unexpected name into the ring for Best Actress. At that time, none of us had seen anything but the preview, and we took a little heat for that.

Since then I’ve been lucky enough to see the film and I’m happy to report with first-hand confidence that Trucker is one of those rare surprises in a predictable year. It’s the kind of indie that earns its cred from scene one — sincere, heartfelt, and emotionally involving in the same vein of New American Realism we’ve seen mined in Frozen River, Wendy and Lucy, and SherryBaby. I’ll have my own review up tomorrow, but the buzz is building and getting too empathic to ignore.

*[“Do these guys have the same dope dealer?” asked that writer. If so, looks like Roger and Rex are hitting the same bong.]

Another look at the trailer, after the cut.