| Diane Ford (Michelle Monaghan from “Eagle Eye,” “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Gone Baby Gone”), a successful independent truck driver, leads a carefree life of long hauls across interstate highways, one night stands at truck stop motels and all-night drinking with Runner (Nathan Fillion from “Desperate Housewives” and “Waitress”), her married neighbor, until the evening her estranged 11-year-old son, Peter (Jimmy Bennett, the young James T. Kirk in “Star Trek”), is unexpectedly dropped at her door.
He hasn’t seen his mother since she left 10 years ago. They are stuck with each other for the time being since his father, Len (Benjamin Bratt from “Law & Order”), is in the hospital with colon cancer.
Burdened with parental responsibility and seeing a life of freedom now jeopardized, Diane steps reluctantly into her past and looks ahead at an uncharted future that is not as simple or straightforward as she had once believed possible.
James Mottern makes a big splash with the directorial debut of his original screenplay. The movie is a shining star in the indie universe much like “Frozen River.” It hits the nail on the head in dealing with real feelings and honest emotions.
The 93-minute running time expeditiously tells the story, develops the characters and takes its final bows.
This is a star-making turn for Monaghan. Her vivacious personality will have you rooting for her lead character operating in a male-dominated occupation. She carries this picture on her shoulders with a knock-your-socks-off performance that is worthy of awards recognition. She shows both a gritty toughness and an instinctive maternal side.
Bennett shows a lot of spunk and moxie portraying this obstinate youngster. Their relationship goes from calling each other names to begrudging respect and finally familial love.
A country western musical score heavy on the guitar sustains the mood. Following critical acclaim at festivals around the country and theatrical runs in larger cities, it is now available everywhere on DVD.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"