Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
A teenage girl riding a horse is hit by a truck. To help heal her troubled/injured daughter, and horse, the mother takes them to Montana to recuperate at the ranch of a 'horse whisperer', a horse healer of mystical talents. The mother proceeds to fall in love with him, as well. Written by
The Horse Whisperer is an exquisite work........a gift
Last night I was blessed with an experience that is the gift of cinema
a very very beautiful film that celebrates the glory of the human
soul in a way that drove me to tears of joy and gratitude at having had the privilege of being a part of it.
The Horse Whisperer is an exquisite work, with multiple levels of relevance that are marvelously integrated into a seamless story. On one level, it is a celebration of man's great capacity for and heritage of attunement to nature and the limitless beauty that he chooses to return to, having tired of the unsatisfying world that he had created in its place on his path of discovery. It is also a testimony to the process of healing, of how it is an opportunity to delve deep into the recesses of the traumatised soul, and how it can only be undertaken with a simultaneous caring for everyone involved in the circle of influence. It is also an examination of relationships, of the relationship between the parent and the child, between man and woman, between human and animal, and ultimately between body and soul. Ultimately the film is a triumph of spirit, a paean to a long forgotten wholeness and harmony that is celebrated in the film as though it just were, and had never ceased to be, without the wrangling and flailing that one has come to expect of a piece of art that attempts to recapture the glory of the soul.
One of the very many great moments of the film are where the mother tries to understand the Horse Whisperer's failed relationship with his love in the past, as a love that was 'wrong' because they were not 'right' for each other. He says 'I loved her not because it was right, I just loved her'. This clear differentiation between love on the one hand and the rightness of the relationship on the other elevates both to a respectability that is incomprehensible when love is understood only as a manifestation of the rightness of a relationship. This kind of 'simple wisdom', so to speak, is the fabric of the entire film, it is the tongue in which the story is told. In fact much of the film eschews dialogue completely in favour of the vast visuals of American ranch-land, always with humans embedded as part of the landscape in a harmony that seems so obvious as to be almost unremarkable. Among the most poignant of these are the moments between Tom, the Horse Whisperer and Pilgrim, the horse, moments where they communicate wordlessly, often soundlessly, slowly going through the stages of distrust, caution, diffidence, examination, trust and sharing that are necessary on the path of friendship, here shown between man and animal.
The story of the Horse Whisperer is simple enough and I shall neither describe it, nor analyse the components of the film. Doing this would reduce its stature to that of a product.
The Horse Whisperer is a gift, accept it.
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