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The Messenger: A Review...

If a large number of people went to see a Bruce Willis action film, it’s a safe bet that 99.9% of them had the same experience whilst seeing said film. That is to say, the same emotions (or lack thereof) were invoked, the same conclusions were drawn, and although no life-altering revelations were made, a good time was had by all. The fact that this was very much not the case with The Messenger struck me more than anything else. Upon entering the theater, the experience gained by watching this film would depend entirely on the individual moviegoer. A war veteran would have a vastly different experience than a left-wing liberal, a mother who had lost a child to war, or someone who had no discernable connection to anyone in the armed forces. The acting is phenomenal to say the least, and although Woody Harrelson is being trumpeted as a potential Oscar winner, in my opinion Ben Foster is the true show-stealer. Foster’s performance as Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is both potent and moving, and should not be missed.
So many films have been made which chronicle tales of war, but not in recent memory has one chosen to focus on the soldiers saddled with the responsibility of telling families their loved ones have been struck down by war. The Messenger is full of poignant moments and beautiful lighting choices, and best of all manages to give the audience the freedom to make of it what they will. Rather than a gritty portrayal of human atrocities, director Oren Moverman focuses on a vast spectrum of human emotion and the unspoken connection that can be found in atrocious conditions. This respectfully unbiased look at the effects of the Iraq War on both the enlisted and civilians alike isn’t terribly in-depth, but thankfully this quality works to its advantage. It allows the viewer to feel wholly invested in the characters for the duration of the film, yet leave feeling unencumbered by the usual war monstrosities.

The Messenger

The Messenger

Holiday Hours and NEW YEARS celebration!...

Hey everyone,

Just a reminder that our hours will be slightly different for the coming week through New Years.  We will be closing EARLY on Christmas Eve, December 24th with no movies starting after 6:00pm.  We’ll be open Christmas Day with regular movie showtimes and plenty of good cheer to share.

Be sure to join us for our New Years Eve dinner and dancing extravaganza (see below)!  We will be open late into the evening for New Years Eve and regular hours for New Years Day.

New Years Extravaganza Details

THE MAID – Coming Soon...

the_maid An excellent black comedy from Chile, The Maid opens at Living Room in December. Set in Santiago it’s the story of Raquel (Catalina Saavedra) who has served as the live-in maid for the Valdes family for 23 years. Neither truly a member of the family nor simply a servant, she inhabits an undefined space somewhere in between. Threatened when the family decides to bring on extra help, she engages in a series of increasingly frantic acts to hold on to her position in this sharp comedic drama about family, class and self-discovery.

Filmmakers at Living Room...


Last weekend, Living Room welcomed two filmmakers to the theater to discuss their films. Portland cinematographer Eliot Rockett (photo above) answered questions about The House of the Devil at screenings last Friday and Saturday. The House of the Devil is playing now.

Cliff Cobb (photo below), executive producer of The End of Poverty?, was at screenings Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. The End of Poverty?
is playing now.


UNCERTAINTY Begins December 25...


From the filmmaking duo behind The Deep End and Suture, Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s Uncertainty is a stylish genre-hybrid that showcases two incredible young talents, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer) and Lynn Collins (Wolverine) in an off-beat indie thrill ride.

Uncertainty thrusts a young couple, Bobby and Kate (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins), into two alternate storylines on the same summer day in New York City. A flip of a coin sends the pair in two opposite directions – an afternoon in Brooklyn forces them to confront self-discovery, loss and the value of family, and in Manhattan the day suddenly takes a turn into a break-neck tale of intrigue, suspense and murder.

Hitchcock Classic in High-Def...


Living Room is excited to present a classic from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. The first of Hitchcock’s films to be available in High Definition, North by Northwest begins Friday, January 1, 2010. From its stylish title sequence to the infamous Cary Grant plane chase to the climatic finale at Mt. Rushmore, North By Northwest may be the best and most thrilling of all of Hitchcock’s films!

North By Northwest stars Cary Grant and Eve Marie Saint. Cary Grant in the role of Roger Thornhill, a Manhattan advertising executive is mistaken for a spy. Considered by many to be the prototypical pure action movie (creating the template for later James Bond and Indiana Jones films), the film is a cross-country roller-coaster ride with Hitchcock at the helm. When Thornhill finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, the world as he knows it comes to an end. Suddenly danger threatens as the hapless businessman is targeted as an American intelligence agent and set up as a killer. All of Thornhill’s attempts to straighten things out only make matters worse–and soon the desperate man is on the run from murderous foreign operatives, the CIA, and the police.

North By Northwest begins January 1, 2010

HOUSE OF THE DEVIL Q&A tonight!...

Eliot Rockett, cinematographer of THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL will be introducing and answering questions at the 7:15 and 9:40 shows tonight and Saturday at the theater! Don’t miss your chance to get an inside perspective on the filmmaking process. The film has gotten lots of great reviews including amazing write-ups in the Oregonian, Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury.