How to start? How to start? I see a picture of a boy and a horse on the DVD package. So I think this is another story about a boy who believes in an over-the-hill horse who wins the big race and everyone goes home happy. Not so. This story goes in an entirely different direction. Who knew?
Sometime in the 1990s In Portland, Oregon, 15-yr old Charlie (Charlie Plummer) gets a job with horse trainer Del (Steve Buscemi) who teaches Charlie about eating manners, his horse Lean on Pete and about the horse racing arena in general. When Dell tells Charlie he is going to sell Lean on Pete, Charlie decides to save the horse and takes Del's truck, trailer and Lean on Pete to go look for his aunt Marge (Allison Elliott) his only living relative, who was on the outs with Charlie's father Ray (Travis Fimmel) who just died. Charlie believes Marge is in Wyoming or Montana. Charlie's mother had abandoned Ray and Charlie.
So most of the movie is Charlie and Lean on Pete traveling to Wyoming until a car hits and kills Lean on Pete in the desert, and Charlie goes onward on foot. He commits several crimes just to survive and escapes any close encounter the police.
Now here's the thing. This story is based upon a novel and my guess is that within the novel Charlie and Lean on Pete somehow bonded. This movie didn't show any such bonding. Charlie was respectful to Lean on Pete and as far the horse was concerned as long as he was fed, watered and treated nice he was agreeable to anything Charlie wanted. Maybe the title of this version of the story should have been changed to something different. We hardly ever saw Lean on Pete except as a horse Charlie wanted to save. Here's the other thing. This movie is just too long to keep anyone's interest, especially when Charlie and Pete head out for Wyoming. And the real story should have been when Charlie meets Marge and will he go to jail for those crimes he committed? But everything ends there. Bummer.
Notables: Travis Fimmel as Ray, Charlie's father, who had a habit of getting next to other men's wives; Chloe Sevigny as Bonnie, Del's jockey and she has a long history of serious racing accidents.
The photography and cinematography were exceptional. Saw some pastel skies. Nice.
The best thing to come out of this movie is the performance of Steve Buscemi and I had hoped he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Didn't happen. I really enjoyed his performance. The scenes in the beginning with Del were pure gold. Charlie Plummer was very good, too, and we'll see more of him in future movies I am sure. (5/10)
Violence: Yes, brief when Ray gets shot by an outraged husband. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Humor: Some, not much. Language: Yes. Rating: C
Lean on Pete
Adventure / Drama
Lean on Pete
Adventure / Drama
The film follows fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson. He wants a home, food on the table and a high school he can attend for more than part of the year. As the son of a single father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, stability is hard to find. Hoping for a new start they move to Portland, Oregon where Charley takes a summer job, with a washed-up horse trainer, and befriends a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete.
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July 02, 2018 at 05:06 AM