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Lean on Pete (2017)

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A teenager gets a summer job working for a horse trainer and befriends the fading racehorse, Lean on Pete.

Director:

Andrew Haigh

Writers:

Andrew Haigh, Willy Vlautin (novel)
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Popularity
2,403 ( 224)
8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Plummer ... Charley
Amy Seimetz ... Lynn
Travis Fimmel ... Ray
Steve Buscemi ... Del
Jason Beem Jason Beem ... Race Announcer
Tolo Tuitele Tolo Tuitele ... Lynn's Husband
Ayanna Berkshire ... Cop 1
Connor Brenes Connor Brenes ... Cop 2
Kurt Conroyd ... Nurse
Chloë Sevigny ... Bonnie
Dennis Fitzpatrick Dennis Fitzpatrick ... Old Timer
Rusty Tennant Rusty Tennant ... Portland Downs Security Guard
Julia Prud'homme ... Ruby
Jason Rouse ... Mitch
Lewis Pullman ... Dallas
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Storyline

The film follows fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson. He wants a home, food on the table and a high school he can attend for more than part of the year. As the son of a single father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, stability is hard to find. Hoping for a new start they move to Portland, Oregon where Charley takes a summer job, with a washed-up horse trainer, and befriends a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Can't Get Anywhere On Your Own

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apóyate en mí See more »

Filming Locations:

Burns, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,975, 8 April 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,163,056, 14 June 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BFI Film Fund,Film4,The Bureau See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

-It went onto screen at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2017. See more »

Goofs

Modern flat screen televisions are shown in at least 2 scenes, yet the film seems to be set in the 1990s, with old cell phones, pay phone, information operators, and older vehicles. See more »

Quotes

Ray: You know, I was a cook for two years once I dropped out of school.
Charley: Yeah, I know.
Ray: It's no way to live, though. Getting up at four every morning. Getting hit by grease all day. People complaining, orders backing up. It's no way to live.
Charley: Yeah, but you get free food?
Ray: Yeah, you get free food. But let me tell you, you end up hating food. But there are waitresses. Hm. You like waitresses, don't you?
Charley: Yeah, I guess.
Ray: The best women... have all been waitresses at some point. So, what have you learned?
Charley: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features Ice Castles (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Quiero Ser
Performed by Vic De Leon
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
Written by Danny Osuna
Published by Vision Spin Music, Music Expressions
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User Reviews

 
a boy and his burdens
12 April 2018 | by David FergusonSee all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Andrew Haigh's follow-up to his gut-wrenching 45 YEARS (2015) is "a boy and a horse" movie that is every bit as emotionally draining, and secures his spot as one of the best filmmakers at bringing characters we thoroughly believe to the screen. It's based on the novel by Willy Vlautin and could be described as coming-of-age, slice-of-life, or even a road movie. While it's each of these, it is also much more ... though I fear it is one of this year's indie gems that will likely slide between the cracks with far too few taking the time to experience it.

Charlie Plummer was most recently seen in ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD as Getty's kidnapped grandson. Here he stars as Charley, a 15 year old boy living a half-step from poverty with his caring, but unprepared single dad (Travis Fimmel). Charley goes for morning runs around town, and his polite mannerisms include effusive praising and expressing gratitude to his dad's mistress (Amy Seimitz) for cooking a full breakfast - a rare treat for this growing teenager. Charley stumbles into part time work with has-been horse trainer Del (Steve Buscemi), a man whose career, health and demeanor have all seen better days. Horse trainer in this context is far removed from the glamour of the Kentucky Derby. Del works his horses hard for meager winnings on the county fair circuit, and when their time is up, the horses are shipped to Mexico for 'processing'.

Charley and Del form a bond based on Del's cheapness and Charley's work ethic and love of the horses. When tragedy strikes, the movie shifts to a road trip vibe, with Bonnie (Chloe Sevigny) joining on as a jockey. The three are a quasi-family but mostly they are each just trying to get along in a life that isn't always kind. When Charley ignores Bonnie's advice to not get too attached to the horses, he and the titular Pete are soon trudging across the backcountry.

Charley's life on the streets provides many life lessons, but not much joy. He crosses paths with an initially friendly addict named Silver (Steve Zahn), and along the trip, his childhood memories provide some hope - especially as related to Aunt Margy (Alison Elliott). These all feel like real folks that we could meet at any time. Some are helpful, yet the biggest life lesson of all comes roaring through these mostly quiet scenes - people care most about themselves.

This most certainly isn't a Disney-style horse movie like DREAMER, and in fact, it's much less a horse story than it is Charley's story. The core message seems to be that no matter how gentle one's soul, human nature adapts in times of desperation. It's pure cinematic pleasure to have both Mr. Buscemi and Ms. Sevigny in the same film, but the shining light here is Charlie Plummer. With little dialogue, he conveys so much about what he is thinking and feeling. His desire is to have some stability - someone or something that he can depend on. It's the security many of us take for granted. Cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jonck (A WAR, 2015) beautifully captures the endless Pacific Northwest landscapes, while also managing the intimate and thoughtful moments. Mr. Haigh's two most recent films add him to my must-see list ... I just wish there were more who would find pleasure in his displays of lack of joy.


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