Take a look at the promotional info for ‘The Messenger’ and you’ll learn that it’s the story of US Staff Sergeant Will Mongomery (Ben Foster), an Iraq veteran assigned to the Casualty Notification office who ends up getting too close to one of the widows he visits. And you’d be forgiven for assuming it was another of those high-concept romantic melodramas which Hollywood churns out nowadays: forbidden passion, proletarian angst, the sexy side of post-traumatic stress. But while that synopsis is essentially accurate, it barely scratches the surface of this unpredictable, episodic, deeply resonant character piece. Will isn’t a fashionably traumatised hero but a disturbed, isolated man in the throes of a total personality breakdown. Samantha Morton’s Olivia is no horny housewife but an authentically washed-out white-trash survivor.