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The Horse Whisperer
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The Horse Whisperer More at IMDbPro »

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An impressive achievement of drama and cinematography

Author: enrique aguilar sanches ( from mexico city
9 February 1999

***** out of *****

When I saw this movie, I knew I was going to cry, but what I did not know, was that I was going to cry during the whole film. The movie (as all Robert Redford movies) is about the life of normal people, in a dramatic predicament that changes them forever. The situation in which these characters are involved, is so shocking, that I couldn´t ignore them. I felt pain and sorrow for them, because this is something that could happen to any of us and we should be aware or at least prepared for it.

I think that Redford, as always, makes us observe and analyze, what we sometimes possess and don´t want to see, only because we see it every day. We have to, sometimes, suffer to realize that there are wonderful things in our lives...

When I saw Robert Redford´s directorial debut "Ordinary People", I thought, this could happen to my family, to me... I felt terrified. Redford, has achieved making me feel that way every time I watch his films.

In this movie, his directorial task is at its best. The cinematography is the one thing I truly admired through all the movie. I really feel he knew how to give the audience a moment of calm and relaxation after those excessively emotional scenes, in which I couldn´t do anything, but weep and feel sorry for the characters´ pain.

All the actors are excellently (and I could say perfect) cast. Even the horse´s work was as realistic as I could expect. That scene in which the rescue team finds Pilgrim after the accident, was so shocking to me that I started crying because the only thing I could think of, was the animal´s confusion and sorrow.

The images are as vivid as in the book. In fact, this is the second time in which the cinematographic language resembles the literary language in a strict way. Robert Redford managed to recreate Nicholas Evans´ world as Barbra Streisand did with Pat Conroy´s "The Prince of Tides". And these two works even have the same structure, but each director made it their own by including the personal touch.

I read that Redford edited his picture from 3 1/2 hours to 2 hours and 50 minutes. I have never criticized any film because of its length or pace, but I think this film´s length was unnecessary. I don´t think that´s an aspect of the film I could criticize, but maybe Redford fell extremely in love with this picture, that he didn´t want it to end...but he managed to create what I can consider one of his best works.

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Take your time

Author: chattome from Moscow
25 January 1999

Despite the rather painful theme that was supposed to follow throughout the movie I, nevertheless, was having a rest while watching it. I was having a rest and enjoying. Enjoying the actors, their gorgeous performances, magnificent scenery, measured pace of a story. Yes, nobody was in a hurry. They were just telling the story, sitting around the fire. That reminded me "Out of Africa" stuff, in a way. And thanks to this unhurried pace you gain some time to think and to feel together with the characters. Unfortunately, vast majority of films never give you such a chance for they are either full with too much action turns rushing one after another in a lightning mode or are completely deprived of any thought to engage your head with.

Redford is an I've-seen-it-all kind of guy as in most of his movies of late. One can rarely argue the truths his mouth is uttering but I do disagree with his "I never ask why it happens" philosophy. Unless you do it you are doomed to suffer the same pains all life long which is understandably hardly welcomed by a human being with reason.

And one thing more: It's good to see two people require more than 15 minutes to fall in love but of no less admiration is also the way-out the producers let them find in the maze of their feelings, passions and obligations. Very nice movie.

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Best Romance of The Decade

Author: anonymous from Rhode Island
22 January 1999

The performances in this film are amazing. Robert Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas are superb. Sam Neill and Dianne Wiest give good support, and young Scarlett Johannson gives an Oscar caliber performance as Grace, the teenage girl at the center of the story.

Although I rank Gone With The Wind as the best romance ever, and An Affair To Remember is a close second, this film is number three on my list.

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It wasn't too bad....actually..very good.

Author: drkfiend
19 January 1999

I actually thought it was a pretty good movie. I still can make the claim that I have yet to see a bad Robert Redford movie. It was long...according to the video cover, but I didn't feel the length adversely affected the movie. It's kinda what I expected, but better in that I wasn't interested in seeing it when it was in the theaters, but once I saw it I had to finish it. I'd recommend it, even if you don't have a date. ;)

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Only for good readers, excellent!!!!

Author: Veronica Allievi
15 January 1999

It is almost impossible to put into words, the deepest truths and methodologies this movie teaches and drives the expectator through... Only a spirit as penetrating and as clean as Redford's, combined with an excellent capacity and staff, are able to irradiate the emotional welfare the landscape supplies plus the re-birth of the girl through the recovery of the horse and her capacity to mount it, the recovery of the relationship between them, and the emotional equilibrium of the mother through the experience of love, and of facing who she is, and what she seeks in life.

It is my personal opinion that Redford plays roles in movies where he "feels the same again" -the journalists film, and this one, as if seeking the second experience of a fullfilling love, he has yet not achieved.

Besides, there is also a repetition of the contrast between external appearance and essence: Ordinary People, Close up Personal.

No better director or actor, ever.

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Lengthy but good

Author: presence from Los Angeles
12 January 1999

The Horse Whisperer is one long movie, but the good story and heavy drama kept me from falling asleep. Personally, I'm very fond of horses, and I was intrigued at the way Robert Redford's character went through the process of "Horse Whispering." The music in this sets the mood very well, and the country settings of meadows and hills were absolutely breathtaking. Even the sky was beautiful to look at. Towards the end of the movie, a melancholy mood develops and you can't help but feel for all the characters. Very good movie. 8/10

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Epically slow pace, somewhat lesser story

Author: Ebert Jr from Louisville
10 January 1999

Although this movie is long (3 hrs.) it is the pacing of the

movie that I found the most disconcerning. With much of the film

and the story dealing with the build up to the meeting of

Kristen Scott Thomas' character and Robert Redford and their

eventual relationship, way too much of the movie was devoted to

the horse, the daughter and the "prologue." It seemed like

nearly 2 hours went by before Thomas and Redford even talked

face to face, much less develop any kind of chemistry. And this

movie is supposed to be a love story! The ensuing relationship

is beautifully crafted and exceptionally directed, and the

dialogue is rich in a certain kind of refreshing quaint style

and genuineness. But it seemed like it was too little too late,

not giving the viewer any reason to want to watch the beginning


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Author: PhotoSPURS from Netherlands
9 January 1999

My wife and I just came back from seeing this movie which was recommended to us by one of our country line dancing friends. Our reaction to the movie : a "slow starter", but it gradually develops into a fascinating story set in a contemporary western atmosphere with our favorite singer Don Edwards (as Smokey) in a guest role and beautiful sceneries of Montana. It is a real pity that Kristin Scott Thomas does not listen to her heart; it looks like she chooses for a Horse Whispering Robert Redford, but in the end she decides to save her marriage anyway and go for her daughter (what a great actress!) an her understanding husband. Well, that's life. You have to see this movie if you love cattle ranches & modern American cowboys - preferably if you have experienced a cattle drive before and already visited Montana, like we did.

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Loved the book AND the movie!

Author: my2cents
29 December 1998

I am a big fan of the book and was not disappointed at all in the movie. I had been told it was too long, that there was better chemistry between Redford and the horse than between Redford and Thomas, and that some of the "gentle" horse healing techniques of Tom Booker left much to be desired (but that the actress who played Grace was excellent and the scenery was great). After seeing the movie, I would have to say that the only negative comments I agree with is regarding some of the not-so-gentle horse-healing techniques(specifically towards the end, Tom's last-ditch effort involving a rope -- very disturbing!).

However, I loved most of the rest of his interactions with the horse, especially when he was gentle and let the horse come to him when it was ready -- very moving.

I found the chemistry between Redford and Thomas to be very charged and romantic. Instead of the in-your-face passion I am used to seeing in movies it was more subtle and under-played. You could tell the feelings were there but that they were both reluctant to express or act on them because of the consequences. They said it all with glances and subtle body language -- much more realistic under the circumstances.

I agree it was longer than most movies I usually like to watch, but it was so engaging that I didn't notice how long it was until after it was over. The pace was slow, but I never found it boring and I never got restless (I was probably too busy blowing my nose! ~smile~).

If you are looking for a fast-paced action thriller or a steamy romance, look elsewhere. But if you want a well-acted, beautifully filmed, emotionally realistic character study of a family (and a horse) on the road to physical, spiritual and emotional healing -- as well as drop-dead gorgeous scenery! -- then this is the movie for you.

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Very good, but not for everyone

Author: Lula-5 from Massashusetts
26 December 1998

Having read the book, I expected a really toned down version. I have to say that Robert Redford did an excellent job. I disagree with someone's comments about there being no chemistry between Kristen and Robert. I was actually surprised! I have never been a big fan of Roberts, but I was pleasantly surprised by his screen presence and charm. The movie was overall very well done and interesting. I loved the ending, even though it differed from the book. I also happen to love horses, so my opinion might be biased, but I enjoyed the movie very much, even though it was painful to watch in places.

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