27 April 2012 8:58 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Cindy Meehl's study of the real-life horse whisperer will have you falling at his feet, but it's no less fine for its partiality

Saddle up for for a one-way ticket to inspirationville: this Sundance-wowing documentary gives an insight into the real-life horse whisperer, child abuse backstory and all. Buck Brannaman is the sort of copper-bottomed authentic that makes you wonder how we ever swallowed Robert Redford's blow-dried impression. Half nag, half guru, he burrs wise words about wrangling men and beasts, one's primal nature and one's animal altruism. Yet he's also acid enough to balance out the slight tang of treacle in Meehl's treatment. There's a whole heap of Americana to wallow in here, but it's testimony to the director and subject that Buck still trots along at such a lick.

Rating: 4/5

DocumentaryAnimalsRobert RedfordCatherine Shoard

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- Catherine Shoard

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