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More so than "Horse Whisperer", the movie deals with life altering changes for the four characters (the mother, the father, the daughter, the horse whisperer) and the horse of course. Even the affair is positive. It helps Tom Booker get over his wife when he puts that record back in it's sleeve, and it helps Annie get off her so called "high horse attitude." It's a movie of changes for the better all around. Enjoyable, real, well done.The scenes interacting with the horse are wonderful. Sitting in that field waiting for the horse to feel comfortable enough to deal with Mr. Booker was an enormous hurdle. The best scene is after two and a half hours when Tom brings the horse down to Grace's level, so that they both rise together. That scene,is to joyfully cry for, and laugh yes.
It is one of Robert Redford's best - the quiet rancher - meets the
pushy high powered NYC editor who is determined to help her daughter
after a traumatic riding accident.
As others have mentioned the experience not only changes the horse but most of the "supporting" characters.
The cinematography was powerful - while I am not a student of the discipline I could see that the angles chosen for the subject, the landscape scenes of the beautiful Montana ranges and sunsets - one could watch and understand the movie without the dialog.
I believe Ansel Adams - if he were alive - would love some of these scenes.
I vote this as a "must see" for everyone. It not only has a powerful plot but beautiful cinematography...
Redford and the entire cast is excellent. The music and scenery is excellent. Saw this movie for the first time three years ago. I rented it due to the "horse" plot and it ended up being a very important movie in my life. I was involved in some very personal problems with my family at the time. What was important to me was that even with the terrible situation Grace was in, there was a way to heal. The most important line in the movie was when Tom Booker makes the comment: "Knowing it is the easy part, saying it out loud is what's difficult" Oh how true this is. A lot of good thoughts in this one. It has my highest recommendation.
As with every film directed by Robert Redford, "The Horse Whisperer" is
beautifully acted, masterfully directed piece of cinematic poetry.
Redford even manages to do what no other actor/director ever has or
probably ever will - direct himself in a love story without becoming
Along with the uniformly excellent cast, Redford's direction and Richard LaGravenese's script, special mention must be made of Robert Richardson's cinematography - some of the most breathtaking Hollywood has ever seen.
Redford is truly one of the giants of American cinema.
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.
If I could, I would give this movie a "100!" I highly recommend this
movie for everyone to see.
It was moving; emotional; and truly humbling.
The actors and actresses were excellent, and portrayed their characters better that most movies I've seen.
Although I always like "good endings," this ending is great - depending upon the person who see's it! I felt this ending to this movie was "as it should have been," although I also wanted it to "go the other way." Guess I sound pretty mysterious, but I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone.
I give great credit to the writers; producers, and directors of this movie.
This is a unique, moving story about a girl whose tragic horse-riding
accident and subsequent trauma led her family to Montana in search of
the man known as the Horse Whisperer. Little did they know that their
lives were about to change forever during these few, memorable days
spent on the farm. This is a truly beautiful story, a story for
sensitive souls, a story for those who care about animals as much as
people. The characters are finely drawn and it is a pleasure to watch
them unfold as the film progresses. The dialogues are often memorable
and wonderfully devoid of the clichés that most Hollywood productions
are sprinkled with.
This is a film for people who understand that the 'little' moments in life are the best; a film where pictures truly speak more than a thousand words.
It is a story of love and courage, the courage to fight for you want, or accept things the way they are; the courage to risk losing everything, the courage to accept that loss. There is a wonderful message in this film for all of us - for all those who care enough to see it, that is.
Here's a beautifully filmed "horse opera" about a New York teenage girl
(Scarlett Johannsson, who is now a well-known actress but wasn't when
this was made) and her horse, both of whom are badly injured in a
mishap and are healed by a Montana horse expert, played by Robert
Redford also directed this film and being such an outdoors-man, you know this is going to show nature in a beautiful way....and it does. The Montana scenery is just awesome.
After a dramatic opening scene in which we see the horse and daughter hurt, the mother (Kristin Scott-Thonas) takes the girl and the horse out West to see if the horse can be salvaged. Unfortunately, the mother - who is married - falls for the horseman "Tom Booker" (Redford) and an adulterous relationship almost comes to fruition. That romance is the soap opera part of the film but it's nice to see everyone, including Redford's character, healed of emotional as well as physical wounds.
Some of the teen's bad attitudes are not fun to watch, but otherwise the people in here are very nice. Ranchers Redford and Chris Cooper and Cooper's sons are all nice people, especially of one Cooper's little kids. This film is a bit too much of a melodrama at times which makes it a long in spots, but it's a long movie to begin with (169 minutes). It's so beautifully filmed, however, that for that alone the movie is worth seeing.
I read the book before seeing the movie and was thus, not expecting it to be as good ( I thought the book was extremely well-written) HOwever, I did enjoy the movie. Redford is a terrifc actor and director and I thought the cinematography was great. I found it interesting that the end in the movie does not parallel the book, but I guess they wanted a Hollywood ending. Anyway, good overall movie, and as another viewer eloquently stated, this movie is a refreshing break from all the special effects one sees in many other films.
Ordinary People. A River Runs Through It. Quiz Show. With this track
Robert Redford has proven himself not only to be one of the great modern
American movie-makers, but one of the only actors to ever make a smooth --
not to mention impressive -- transition to the director's chair. And
considering his success, one might worry that he'd make a misstep
and back a sub par picture. Well, skeptics beware, because with The Horse
Whisperer, Redford has secured his spot as an A-list director, and as a
who knows how to please his audience. Adapted from Nick Evan's
novel, The Horse Whisperer depicts a New York family that is struck by
tragedy when their daughter is involved in a horrific accident while
her horse in the woods with a friend. Her friend is killed, and she is
required to have her leg amputated; as for the horse, he is so severely
traumatized that putting him down appears to be the only option. But the
mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) refuses to watch another part of her life
apart before her eyes, and demands that the horse be kept alive. She
examines every source on horse healing, and learns of a strange treatment
known as horse whispering, which deals with the spiritual healing of the
animal. By this point, you should be able to figure out where the plot
she contacts the "horse whisperer," drags the horse (and her daughter) to
ranch in Montana, and through the experience they all find emotional
healing. And while this might seem like a recipe destined for sappy
melodrama, Redford somehow makes it work. Not because the story is
particularly unique, but simply because his characters actually feel real
us -- which is where so many other similar movies have failed. Thomas is
superb as the controlling (yet confused) mother; instead of being
as some manipulative matriarch, we actually sympathize with her situation.
In fact, we sympathize with everyone's situation. Thomas eventually falls
love with the horse whisperer himself (played by Redford), and when she
ultimately has to choose between him and her husband (played by Sam
the dilemma is not boiled down to mere preference. Neill is a loving,
father, and in the most moving scene of the picture, he declares his love
for his wife yet allows her -- and even encourages her -- to follow her
heart. As the daughter, new-comer Scarlett Johannson gives a terrific
performance, and with a supporting cast that includes Chris Cooper and
Dianne Wiest, the ensemble is flawless. The film is deliberately paced,
it never drags; instead, it uses its length (which runs close to three
hours) to its own advantage, conveying the rare grace and tenderness that
saw in A River Runs Through It and Ordinary People. Each and every
is filled with an emotional depth rarely seen in mainstream romance epics,
and the scenes that involve the horse being healed manage to be both
compelling and powerful in spite of their contrived nature (which is
an accurate description of the entire picture). And even though it might
hit every emotional chord it tries to strike, The Horse Whisperer does so
much right that it puts all the other wanna-be epics to shame. Here's to a
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