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The Mustang (2019)

R | | Drama | 19 June 2019 (France)
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The story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Roman
Jason Mitchell ... Henry
Bruce Dern ... Myles
Gideon Adlon ... Martha
Connie Britton ... Psychologist
Josh Stewart ... Dan
Thomas Smittle ... Tom
Keith Johnson Keith Johnson ... Elijah
Noel Gugliemi ... Roberto
James Mcfarland James Mcfarland ... Inmate at Anger Management
Sean Patrick Bridges Sean Patrick Bridges ... Photographer
George Schroeder George Schroeder ... Officer Peters
Gregory Williams Gregory Williams ... Auctioneer
Joseph Bartlett Joseph Bartlett ... Guard at Roman's Cell
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Storyline

The story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Untamed Souls. Kindred Spirits.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and drug content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 2019 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Nevada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$71,657, 17 March 2019, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$93,989, 21 March 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre's feature film directorial debut. She developed Mustang through the Sundance Labs and received the Sundance Institute/NHK Award for the project in 2015. See more »

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User Reviews

 
man and horse figure it out
21 March 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. A herd of wild horses frolic and gallop and relax in the prairies that separate majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Suddenly the peace being enjoyed by the horses is interrupted by the deafening noise of a helicopter above. The purpose of the helicopter is to push the herd towards the corral and trucks that are part of the round-up. An opening title card informs us that more than 100,000 wild horses roam the U.S. countryside and the government is only able to manage a small percentage. Part of that process involves therapy for prisoners ... an obvious analogy being the two wild beings try to tame each other. When the prisoners have trained the horses, an auction is held, and many of the animals will be used in law enforcement - an irony not dwelled upon here.

Roman Coleman is a guilt-riddled man. A man of short fuse and violent ways. He readily admits to the prison psychologist (Connie Britton) that "I'm not good with people." After 12 years in isolation, he's been transferred to general population and he seems pretty indifferent about it. His guilt is the type that only a split-second violent outburst can saddle one with - though we don't hear the specifics until late in the film. The psychologist assigns him to "outdoor maintenance" which is a fancy institutional term for, well, shoveling horse manure.

As he observes the rehabilitation program, where the convicts train the wild mustangs under the tutelage of crusty old horse trainer Myles (Bruce Dern), Roman is drawn to the wildest of the wild ... a mustang kept in a dark stall and labeled untrainable. The parallels to Roman himself are obvious, and soon head trainer Myles and fellow convict Henry (Jason Mitchell, MUDBOUND) have invited Roman into the program. It's here where man and horse prove how similar their temperaments are - they both react with anger to most any situation. After a particularly cruel and unfortunate outburst, Roman is back to solitary confinement and studying up on horses.

Writer-director Laure de Claremont-Tonnerre co-wrote the story with Mona Fastvold and Brock Norman Brock (BRONSON). It's the director's first feature film and she shows a real knack for pacing ... letting the uncomfortable scenes between man and horse breathe and play out. Speaking of uncomfortable, when Roman's pregnant daughter Martha (rising star Gideon Adlon, BLOCKERS) shows up to get his signature on a form so that she can run off with her boyfriend, the history and lack of commonality between the two is palpable. Their scenes together are excruciating. Sure this is a cliché-filled concept, but the director and especially the cast keep us glued to the screen and caring about what happens.

Matthias Schoenaerts stars as Roman, and it's yet another stellar performance from the actor who exploded onto the movie screen with BULLHEAD (2011) and RUST AND BONE (2012). Since then, it's been one terrific turn after another. His physical presence and soulful eyes convey so much. He has mastered the strong silent type, but here he expertly uses body language to communicate with both the horse and the audience. The drug-dealing sub-plot appears to have been included to remind us just how dangerous a prison yard can be, but we never lose sight of the pain involved with second chances and learning to be a better person. There are some similarities to two excellent 2018 movies, LEAN ON PETE and THE RIDER, but this first time filmmaker wisely lets her talented cast do their thing, as she complements their work through cinematographer Ruben Impens' (BEAUTIFUL BOY) fabulous work up close and with expansive vistas. Robert Redford was an Executive Producer on the film, so the beauty of the area is not surprising. The film allows emotions to play out right through the final shot.


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