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Hollywood Flashback: In 1998, Scarlett Johansson Was 'Horse Whisperer's' Tomboy Teen

Hollywood Flashback: In 1998, Scarlett Johansson Was 'Horse Whisperer's' Tomboy Teen
The Horse Whisperer, a 1998 weepy directed by and starring Robert Redford. He plays Tom Booker, a Montana wrangler/Zen master who helps a tomboy named Grace (Scarlett Johansson, then 13) and her horse, Pilgrim, overcome the trauma of a riding accident that left her leg partially amputated.

Based on the 1995 best-seller by Nicholas Evans, the movie was the first to feature Redford on both sides of the camera....
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

DVD Review: 'Buck'

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ Cindy Meehl's poignant portrait of horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, the subject of author Nicholas Evans' best-selling novel and the 1998 Robert Redford Hollywood movie, wowed audiences at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2011 and is rereleased on DVD this week by Dogwoof after the collapse of Revolver. At the start of Buck (2011), Brannaman comments, "Often instead of helping people with horse problems, I'm helping horses with people problems." It's a philosophy that has held him in good stead on his travels across America and beyond and defines his particular style of natural-horsemanship.
See full article at CineVue »

Blu-ray Release: The Horse Whisperer

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray Release Date: July 3, 2012

Price: Blu-ray $20.00

Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Robert Redford’s (The Sting) gorgeous 1998 movie The Horse Whisperer is one that fully deserves the high-definition treatment, and we hope this Disney Blu-ray transfer is stellar.

Directed by as well as starring Redford, the film is based on the Nicholas Evans‘ novel and tells the story of Tom Booker (Redford), a unique horse trainer who has an extraordinary gift with animals. When he’s hired to help a girl (Scarlett Johansson, Iron Man 2) and her horse after a devastating riding accident, Booker’s talents change the lives of both.

The highly acclaimed PG-13 film also stars Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole), Chris Cooper (The Company Men), Kate Bosworth (Straw Dogs) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Sarah’s Key) and Sam Neill (TV’s Alcatraz) as the girl’s parents.

The Horse Whisperer was nominated for an Academy Award
See full article at Disc Dish »

Mark Kermode's DVD round-up

War Horse; Strippers vs Werewolves; Four; Buck

Among the charges most regularly levelled at Steven Spielberg is that his movies are over-egged puddings that trade in rank melodrama and infantilising sentimentality. A whinnying chorus of such dismissive jeers greeted the arrival of War Horse (2011, DreamWorks, 12) late last year, with some predictably sniffy manure being thrown at this most populist auteur's emotional Grand National. Admittedly neither understatement nor brevity has ever been Spielberg's strong point, hence the much repeated joke: War Horse walks into a bar, barman says: "Why the long film?"

Yet to complain that this nostalgically cinematic adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's bestselling book (and feted stage adaptation) is somewhat soft around the edges is to forget that the source story was specifically aimed at younger readers. No, this is not a four-legged revisiting of the beach scenes from Saving Private Ryan, which portrayed the horrors of war in shockingly visceral form.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Buck: the real-life horse whisperer

He can rope a cow in a snowstorm and perform a caesarean with a penknife. Buck Brannaman tells Catherine Shoard why city folk are galloping to see his new documentary

Buck Brannaman is aware he has enormous hands. But as befits the "Zen master of the horse world", he's pretty modest about them. "Perhaps it's just that people in Britain don't have very big hands," says the wrangler who has been tossed off just about every troubled steed from Montana to Idaho. "I've shook hands with a lot of guys today and I was thinking, 'Well, mine just covers yours up completely.'"

It's not just the warm swaddle of those big mitts that makes a meeting with the original horse whisperer (the man who turned fixing abused and injured animals into an art form) feel like a soothing dose of ketamine. It's also the easy formality with which he wears his Stetson,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Interview: Nicholas Sparks Highlights Young Love in ‘The Lucky One’

Chicago – The belief that most people are decent at heart may seem overly naive in a society that often favors cynicism over sincerity. Yet it is precisely this hopeful worldview that has made Nicholas Sparks one of the most successful authors of his time. His international bestsellers have captivated readers worldwide, and have inspired seven big screen adaptations.

The latest is “The Lucky One,” starring Zac Efron as a Marine named Logan who stumbles upon a picture of a beautiful young woman, Beth (Taylor Schilling), that functions as a sort of good luck charm during his tour in Iraq. Once he’s back in America, he embarks on a search to find the woman who may be his destiny. Hollywood Chicago spoke with Sparks about the challenges of adapting his novels into screenplays, his goal to create strong female characters and the real-life romance that has enhanced each of his wildly popular stories.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Will ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Lead Studios To Rethink Their Gotham Outposts?

  • Deadline
The stunning multimillion-dollar sale of the E.L. James erotic novel Fifty Shades Of Grey to Universal Pictures and Focus Features might have a lasting impact on the business of evaluating cinematic potential of books. The last time I’ve felt this kind of ripple was when there was a stampede for the Nicholas Evans novel The Horse Whisperer, which went to Disney in the late 1990s for $3 million in a four-studio bidding war. I recall that some studios caught flatfooted made a concerted effort to build up New York operations, and I won’t be surprised to see it happen again. In my interview with Fifty Shades agent Valerie Hoskins, she noted that Gotham-based studio executives discovered the material early, and helped whip studios into a slow building frenzy, even before The New York Times called it “mommy porn” and really got Hollywood hot and bothered. Times have been tough
See full article at Deadline »

The best documentaries of 2011

Why not fold documentaries into my list of the "Best Films of 2011?" After all, a movie is a movie, right? Yes, and some years I've thrown them all into the same mixture. But all of these year-end Best lists serve one useful purpose: They tell you about good movies you may not have seen or heard about. The more films on my list that aren't on yours, the better job I've done.

That's particularly true were you to depend on the "short list" released by the Academy's Documentary Branch of 15 films they deem eligible for nomination. The branch has been through turmoil in the past and its procedures were "reformed" at one point. But this year it has made a particularly scandalous sin of

omission. It doesn't include "The Interrupters" (currently scoring 99% on the Tomatometer), which has received better reviews and been on more critic's Best lists than any other.
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

Nicholas Evans: 'Guilt is my subject. I've taken research to an extreme degree'

The bestselling author of The Horse Whisperer bares his soul about the event that nearly killed him - and almost tore apart his family

Nicholas Evans is a celebrated storyteller, and the story he tells me is a cracker. A man and his wife go to stay with her brother and sister-in-law, a titled couple who live on a beautiful estate in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands. On a balmy August evening, the man goes out and picks some mushrooms. He brings them back, fries them up in some butter, sprinkles parsley over them, and the family enjoy a relaxing evening meal.

The following morning all four awake feeling not quite right. By lunchtime they are seriously ill. They consult a book in the kitchen – a guide to wild mushrooms – and leaf through until they find a photograph. Anxiously they scan the text, and see the chilling words: deadly poisonous.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New Release: Buck DVD

  • Disc Dish
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2011

Price: DVD $24.98

Studio: Mpi

The life of Buck Brannaman, a bona fide horse whisperer, is chronicled in Buck.

The Audience Award winner at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, documentary movie Buck unveils the real-life story of Buck Brannaman, a bona fide American cowboy and sage on horseback who travels the country for nine months a year helping horses with people problems.

The first film directed by Cindy Meehl, Buck chronicles the life of Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A true “horse whisperer,” he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Possessing what has been described as “magical abilities,” Brannaman dramatically transforms horses – and people – with understanding, compassion and respect.

Brannaman was the prime inspiration for the hero of Nicholas Evans’ novel The Horse Whisperer, not to mention the
See full article at Disc Dish »

movie review: Buck

Some years ago, Robert Redford made an excellent movie called The Horse Whisperer, based on Nicholas Evans’ novel. It turns out that a horseman named Buck Brannaman helped inspire Evans to create the character that Redford played; he even worked on the movie. This new documentary shows that Buck’s real-life story is as compelling as any piece of fiction, and filmmaker Cindy Meehl has brought it to life with enormous skill and good taste. (Even Redford attests to— — Buck’s amazing presence.) Buck is a natural on-camera. We travel with him from one horse-training clinic to another, as he passes…
See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Interview: Buck Brannaman Shares His Life Philosophy in ‘Buck’

Chicago – When Robert Redford was on the lookout for equine consultants to assist him with his 1998 drama, “The Horse Whisperer,” he got a lot more than he bargained for when he hired Buck Brannaman. The real-life “whisperer” was one of the chief inspirations for the character of Tom Booker in the Nicholas Evans novel that provided the source material for Redford’s picture. Yet Brannaman’s inspiring work doesn’t merely apply to horses.

As one of the most respected horse trainers in the nation, Brannaman spends the majority of the year traveling the country, hosting clinics that teach people how to better connect their beloved animals. First-time director Cindy Meehl was so inspired by Brannaman’s work that she decided to film a documentary that charted his journey from childhood abuse (at the hands of his father) to an enormously successful adulthood. The resulting film, “Buck,” has gone on
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

10 Things We Learned About 'Buck' From Director Cindy Meehl & Buck Brannaman Himself

We saw the forthcoming documentary "Buck" back at SXSW, and thought it was pretty great. The film chronicles the true life story of Buck Brannaman, the man who inspired the Nicholas Evans novel "The Horse Whisperer" and later the Robert Redford film of the same name (where Buck served as a consultant). It's both an incredibly personal story of a man who overcame the psychic scars of his childhood to do something truly valuable, and a quietly mystical western, with sweeping vistas and high drama. But front and center of the film stands Buck, the kind of character you just…
See full article at The Playlist »

Review: Buck Paints a Stirring Portrait of the Real-Life Horse Whisperer

Review: Buck Paints a Stirring Portrait of the Real-Life Horse Whisperer
The formidable subject of Buck shares his initials and ideals with another, even more imposing romantic hero. Black Beauty, a horse with a human range of intellect and emotion, is the title character and narrator of Anna Sewell's 1877 novel. His life story is marked by hardship and hard work, all of it at the mercy of morally variable owners. Sewell wanted her readers in horse-dependent 19th-century England to see their mounts, carriage-pullers, and field-plowers not as insensible beasts but creatures worthy of respect and compassion. Buck Brannaman, a Wyoming horse trainer with a resume that includes inspiring the Nicholas Evans novel that became Robert Redford's 1998 movie The Horse Whisperer, is the 21st-century embodiment of that same cause.
See full article at Movieline »

We Defy You Not to Love Buck

In an era where documentaries are increasingly becoming more and more issue-oriented, angled to deal with various political topics that command doc attention (Eliot Spitzer's fall, the financial crisis), the personal profile documentary - a soft, simple look at the life of an interesting figure - starts to become a harder sell. There isn't a built-in audience awareness that is primed for such documentaries, as there is for issue docs, and they don't command the same media attention. Nevertheless, they are still consistently made. However, not often are they made with the gentle grace of Cindy Meehl's Buck, a documentary about the man who inspired Nicholas Evans' novel The Horse Whisperer, which became the Robert Redford film of the same name. Buck Brannaman came from a terribly abusive childhood to be the leading figure in the horse-training field, by employing a Zen-like approach to how to deal with damaged horses.
See full article at Tribeca Film »

An Unbridled Conversation With "Buck"

  • IFC
An Unbridled Conversation With
I have ridden a horse exactly three times in my life. Once I almost got thrown, once our entire group got lost on the trail, and once I got saddled, no pun intended, with Watusi the Farting Horse. That was the ranch's nickname for him, by the way, not mine, but he certainly earned it. Oh, how he earned it.

In other words, I don't have a great deal of love for horses. I don't imagine them as grand or majestic creatures; I think of them as stinky mounts of the damned here to emotionally scar camp kids for life (You hear that Watusi? I can never enjoy 60s dance crazes without thinking of horse farts because of you! Yes, I am berating a horse on the Internet. Like I said, scarred for life.) Maybe that's why I liked the new documentary "Buck," about legendary horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, so
See full article at IFC »

Horsing Around With "Buck"

  • IFC
Horsing Around With
Buck Brannaman is one cool dude. And I do mean a dude: an authentic cowboy and horse whisperer. The horse whisperer, really; he served as an inspiration for Nicholas Evans' novel and later became a technical advisor and stunt double on Robert Redford's cinematic adaptation. The man is so good with horses it looks like he's communicating with them telepathically.

In a way, he is. As we see in the heartwarming documentary "Buck," decades of practice have transformed Brannaman into one of the world's premiere horse trainers (though, to hear Brannaman tell it, he's really training the horse's owners rather than the horses themselves). He's so in tune with his pupils he can move them with a gesture or a wave of his hand. But it's not all touchy-feely times during "Buck" though; Brannaman had a sad and brutal childhood at the hands of an abusive father. To a certain degree,
See full article at IFC »

Horse Whisperer Author Still Awaiting Kidney Transplant

  • WENN
Horse Whisperer Author Still Awaiting Kidney Transplant
The author of bestselling novel The Horse Whisperer is still waiting for a kidney transplant - a year after falling seriously ill by eating poisonous mushrooms.

Nicholas Evans and several members of his family were admitted to hospital in Scotland last September after they mistakenly ate a batch of toxic fungi while staying at a country estate.

The writer was told he needed a replacement kidney as a result of the illness - but he is still on the transplant list 12 months later and is forced to undergo 15 hours of kidney dialysis every week.

But he fears medical knowledge of poisonous fungi is limited following the retirement of leading expert Professor Roy Watling ten years ago.

Evans' brother-in-law Gordon-Cumming, who also fell ill from eating the mushrooms, says: "It is a worrying situation. (Watling's) knowledge is going to vanish and once he's gone, he's gone."

Evans, who has sold 15 million copies of the beloved book worldwide, sold the rights to his tale to Robert Redford, who starred in the big screen adaptation alongside a teenage Scarlett Johansson in 1998.

Horse Whisperer Author In Hospital After Poisoning

  • WENN
Horse Whisperer Author In Hospital After Poisoning
The author of the best-selling novel The Horse Whisperer is seriously ill after eating poisonous mushrooms.

Nicholas Evans and his wife Charlotte were admitted to hospital in Scotland after they mistakenly ate the toxic fungi while staying at the country estate of relatives.

The pair, along with Evans' brother and sister-in-law, are said to be stable in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Evans, who has sold 15 million copies of the beloved book worldwide, sold the rights to his tale to Robert Redford, who starred in the big screen adaptation alongside a teenage Scarlett Johansson in 1998.

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