Sunday, August 26, 2018

Lean On Pete 2018

What’s with all these horse movies lately? I’m not complaining mind you and this one is a beaut and was a pleasure to watch, a gift I might say. Starring a new young actor Charlie Plummer (no relation to Christopher) as a 15 year old kid also named Charley who is trying to keep his head above water, living poor on the far outskirts of Portland with his runaround womanizer hard drinking dad who clearly loves Charley dearly. This is a good kid, you immediately take to him and the sadness that surrounds him also surrounds us.
One day as he is out jogging he comes across a local down and out racetrack and meets up with Steve Buscemi a horse owner who is also down and out. Buscemi is cranky, and crinkly and in a role that might have been played by Walter Brennan years back and shows us why he is one of the best actors around. Buscemi needs help and soon takes on Charley as his all around helper with the horses and anything else that needs fixing. Charley takes to one of the horses Lean On Pete who has seen better days and is not doing so great. The two of them strike up a deep friendship that moves the story forward. Charley loves Lean On Pete and that’s what the movie is about their love affair and Charley’s tough complex journey to find a place in this world for the two of them. Without giving much away I will say that its a sometimes a tough nut for Charley and Lean On. There are some tragic loses throughout and one or two made me gasp out loud but I wiped away the few tears and continued on. The journey through this vast beautiful landscape takes the young man horse on what might be called Picaresque and some of his adventures could be right out of Dickens if he lived and wrote in the 21st century. Also in the film is Chloe Sevigny as a tough as nails female jockey, and the direction is by Andrew Haigh who directed two other well received films “Weekend” and “45 Years” One of the ten best films of the year.


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