I haven't done this for three years, but I walked out. I have certainly seen many worse movies in that time period than Trucker; for me to exit the theater early, either the print has to burn in the projector or my indifference to the movie has to be compounded by a huge tidal wave of anxious guilt over everything else I need to be doing. That's certainly what happened to me at Trucker, but I must say that Monaghan's utter failure to say "Man!" or "Dude!" in any remotely convincing way didn't help (and the script forces her through it incessantly). Nor did the cruddy, unprofessional, aggressively off-putting look of the film, even when one allows for the limited budget. Plus, when I scooted, at around the 40-minute mark, Monaghan was about to Bond With Her Child, after a narratively slapdash series of circumstances lands him back in her lap after ten years or so. We were about to hit the compulsory juncture where she Sticks Up For Him against some arbitrary foe, even though They Don't Really Like Each Other Yet. I am happy to grant that things might not unfold exactly as one expects over the rest of Trucker, but even half of what I expected would have been too much on this particular evening. Just now, I don't want to see any kid pouting in any car with any hard-living adult unless the (putative) adult is Tilda Swinton and they're about to crash the sedan through the corrugated tin "wall" between the U.S. and Mexico. You know what I mean.
I do feel confident, though, reporting to all you Oscar-hawks that I can't imagine us needing to worry about Monaghan. Clearly, lots of people are more taken with her work than I was (conceding that I still have half the movie to watch), but you only get nommed for stuff like this if the movie carries a real ring of hard-luck authenticity à la Melissa Leo, or if the scale of self-transformation, cosmetically and career-wise, is as galvanizing as it was for Charlize Theron and Sally Field. Monaghan isn't a big enough Name, and the performance isn't different enough from stuff you've seen dozens of times before, for her to generate nearly enough traction. No matter how many slings and arrows get shot at Amelia, Swank would be in before Monaghan would be... and surely among Cornish, Mirren, Wright Penn, and Cotillard, we've got other ways to fill out the category without either of them factoring in.
Assuming, of course, that Meryl Streep, Gabourey Sidibe, and Carey Mulligan are already in. Which I'll have more to say about in due time. But I'll go out on one more limb, since why not? My personal feelings about the performances aside (as much as that's possible), and having now seen that full trio of front-runners, I think Sidibe will win, especially if she keeps doing the kind of press that reveals how much acting she was doing as Precious. Streep's still a threat, and I suppose Mulligan is, too, but it's not quite the performance I was expectingin terms of what it is, not how good it isand I can't quite see Oscar voters carrying her to the top of the heap.