An ex-con returns to his rural Ontario roots and outwits a corrupt and wealthy thoroughbred owner trying to take over a slew of local farms. Ray Dokes, a charming ex-ballplayer, returns ... See full summary »
An ex-con returns to his rural Ontario roots and outwits a corrupt and wealthy thoroughbred owner trying to take over a slew of local farms. Ray Dokes, a charming ex-ballplayer, returns from jail to discover the rural landscape of his childhood transformed by urban development. Determined to stay out of trouble, Ray heads to the farm of his old friend Pete Culpepper, a crusty Texas cowboy who trains losing racehorses and whose debts are growing faster than his corn. Sonny Stanton, gambling addict and spoiled heir to a thoroughbred dynasty, is in the process of buying up an entire concession of farmland to build a casino and golfing resort, and the only one brave enough to stand in the way of Sonny is Etta Parr, Ray's old flame, who might be willing to forgive Ray if it wasn't for her pride and common sense. The situation is a minefield, one Ray is determined to avoid. He hooks up with Chrissie, a sexy, sassy and talented jockey and steers clear of Sonny. But when a ten-million-dollar ... Written by
A classic tale of the little people vs the big 'uns. It is set in a community that could be anywhere in rural North America under threat of suburbanization, but happens to be Ontario. This could matter from a box office point of view since it is sufficiently recognizable to Americans as to not need to be seen as a Canadian film.
The soulful, moody score from guitarist Bill Frisell helps carry the film forward as the down-on-their luck band of battlers try to fight the rising tide as represented by the billionaire's dastardly son. Sonny Stanton is played so interestingly by Noam Jenkins that you end of sort of liking him anyway. My favorite scene focuses on him getting into deeper trouble losing tons of money at the track.
Lisa Ray and Rachael Leigh Cook fight for most delicious horse country babe. Ernie Hudson, Keith Carradine, David Alpay, and Joel Keller, among others, give character performances that provide a fun weft to the scheming warp of counter-scam mastermind played by an understated-but-credible Luke Kirby.
Proof that Canadian film can be fun, I greatly enjoyed this film!
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