‘The Mustang’ Film Review: Matthias Schoenaerts Tames a Horse and Saves Himself in Prison Drama

  • The Wrap
‘The Mustang’ Film Review: Matthias Schoenaerts Tames a Horse and Saves Himself in Prison Drama
Horses and men have been mythic companions as long as movies have been around, so why does it feel as if within only the last couple of years, with “The Rider,” “Lean on Pete,” and now French filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s touching drama “The Mustang,” have we gotten a fuller examination of this relationship?

Maybe because we’re finally seeing horses treated as flesh-and-blood characters and not simply beautiful accessories or four-legged extensions of the rider’s personality (or just vehicles for transport). Which is surely why de Clermont-Tonnerre was drawn to the stories coming out of prison programs around the world that utilized animals as therapy — living, breathing, loving creatures who could help resocialize those coarsened by incarceration.

But “The Mustang” — which de Clermont-Tonnerre wrote with Mona Fastvold (“The Childhood of a Leader”) and Brock Norman Brock (“Yardie”), and which recently premiered at Sundance — isn’t just about
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