New M. Ward with Zooey Deschanel – “When I get to the Border”

One of the most surprising things about the movie Elf was not so much that it was a good movie (yes that was indeed surprising), but that wide-eyed actress Zooey Deschanel had a serious set of pipes. She had the swanky jazz inflected vocals down pat, which made us very happy she was cast as Janis Joplin. Though, she is much easier on the eyes than Janis Joplin, not that that’s saying much.

The cute-as-cute-can-be actress has teamed up with M. Ward for a new track on the movie songtrack for indie flick The Go-Getter. That movie is still looking for distribution after making the grueling rounds at Sundance.

It’s a curious pairing, with M. Ward coming from the folk-roots-rock place and Deschanel doing the caberet thing, but somehow their cover of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “When I get to the Border” (MP3) really works. Her voice seems to balance out Ward’s warbly tenor.

So what’s the deal with this movie? It was directed by Martin Hynes (Stealing Harvard) and stars Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker), Jena Malone (Saved) and Deschanel. Here’s a blurb from the movie’s Myspace page:

Left with an aching instinctual itch to explore America after a traumatic loss, a curious teenager named Mercer suddenly steals a car in Oregon and develops a life-altering telephonic connection with the forgiving and mysterious girl he took it from. As he sets out with her phone calls as guidance, Mercer’s motives find focus as he travels across the postmodern highways of the former Wild West to seek self-knowledge and a sense of belonging. Played with truth and nuance by Lou Taylor Pucci, young Mercer follows the clues and confronts struggles, both good and bad, on his spiritual journey toward manhood and an end to his grief.

Supporting him in a range of unlikely relationships and chance encounters is an eloquent set of performances that include Zooey Deschanel as the car’s owner, Jena Malone as a precocious distraction in Reno, and Maura Tierney as his brother’s old flame.Byron Shah’s dreamlike cinematography and M. Ward’s original soundtrack add to this “mix tape” of emotional discoveries. Perhaps most impressive is the way writer/director Martin Hynes vividly and creatively steers the viewer on this cinematic ride, where there are some roads still worth driving down. “

Sounds interesting enough. We always appreciate a good road trip movie, complete with a killer soundtrack. You can’t really have one without the other. M. Ward apparantly scored the entire movie and the soundtrack features cuts from Elliott Smith, The Black Keys and The Replacements.

And if this doesn’t tide you over until the next M. Ward album, after the dusty brilliance of Post War, he’s also contributed the cut “Crooked Lines” to the soundtrack for the Ethan Hawke flick The Hottest State.

[Update: Gotta give the love where the love is due.? Even though the M. Ward track was passed along from a friend, it originated from The Playlist, a site dedicated to film soundtracks.? Hit them up, as it’s a great read.]? Hit the jump for some video coverage of The Go-Getter.

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