Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.
In August 1966, in a Vietnamese rubber plantation called Long Tan, 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives against 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.
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.
Performed by Vic De Leon
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
Written by Danny Osuna
Published by Vision Spin Music, Music Expressions See more »
Not as good as Haigh's previous work
15-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) lives with his father, Ray (Travis Fimmel), who is drinking himself into an early grave. Finding work caring for an aging race horse named Lean on Pete, Charley is devastated when he learns that Pete's owner, Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi), is planning to slaughter the animal. Determined to save his friend, Charley steals Pete, and the two set out on an odyssey across the modern American frontier.
Fans of writer/director Andrew Haigh will know his unassailable talent for what one might label unsentimental emotionalism; his films deal with intensely emotional situations without lapsing into Speilbergian fawnishness. And, although compared to the excellent Weekend (2011), and the masterful 45 Years (2015), Lean on Pete is a touch melodramatic, Haigh's talent for allowing character and theme to rise organically to the surface through quiet moments of introspection is still very much to the fore. So why not a higher score? Adapted from Willy Vlautin's 2010 novel of the same name, the biggest problem with the film is that things are laid on too thick; Charley is very much a Job figure, and suffers such a litany of misfortunes that one fully expects him to be diagnosed with terminal cancer. Similarly, the pseudo-allegorical nature of the characters he encounters is too on-the-nose for the realistic milieu Haigh has crafted. Part state-of-the-nation address, part bildungsroman, it's worth a look, but is ultimately lacking a satisfying thematic through-line.
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