A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold ... See full summary »
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.
Luka Magdeline Cole,
Brady Blackburn, a rodeo bronc rider with some renown, learned everything he knows about horses and riding from his parents, Wayne and the now deceased Mari Blackburn. Brady is recovering from a fall off a bronking horse in a rodeo, the most serious of the injuries being a skull fracture which required a metal plate being inserted into his head. Including checking himself out of the hospital earlier than advised, Brady is determined to get back up onto the literal and proverbial horse as quickly as possible as being a cowboy is all he knows. But deep in his heart he knows that returning to the rodeo in particular is something that is probably not in the cards without increased risks, which is eventually confirmed by his doctor who tells him that he cannot sustain another serious head injury without some major consequence. He does not even want his friends and family to treat him with kid gloves in being able to do any of those physical activities which are part and parcel for him of ...Written by
Writer and director Chloé Zhao first met Brady Jandreau during her research for her earlier film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015). She visited the ranch where Jandreau was working and he was teaching her how to ride a horse. She wanted to put him in one of her films, and when he had the accident that left him with life changing head injuries, she decided to base the script for her next film on his story. See more »
"The Rider" (R, 1:44) is a western drama written and directed by Chloé Zhao, who discovered the story (and the characters who lived it) while researching her first feature, 2015's "Songs My Brothers Taught Me". Her 2017 effort (which transitioned from the festival circuit to limited releases in several countries in early 2018) is the story of a cowboy who suffered a career-ending rodeo injury and is deciding what to do with the rest of his life. The film stars the title character as himself - and his family as themselves.
Brady Jandreau (looking like a young and lean Heath Ledger) plays the titular cowboy. Training and riding horses is what he loves and all he knows. After a devastating fall from a horse, he has a gash on the side of his head, his skin and his skull held together with staples. He struggles through his recovery - and to get used to the idea that he may never ride again. He's not sure whether he can give it up, in spite of the risk to his health and his life. He takes a job in a grocery store, but keeps gravitating back to horses. As he works through his issues, there's no shortage of advice - from those who want him to ride again - and those who know he can't, while caught in the middle is his family - his dad and his mentally challenged sister - and the person he admires most, a fellow rider who is permanently paralyzed.
"The Rider" is both touching and boring. Although this very personal and realistic story sheds light on the lives of modern cowboys, the whole thing is very slow and uneventful... for most of the film's runtime. However, along the way, something surprising happens. The tedium is gradually replaced by something emotional and relatable. It is then that Movie Fans realize that the time spent getting to know these characters and understanding this way of life has made them invested in the story, which pays dividends before it's over. Of course, the main actors playing themselves (not to mention the people playing the smaller roles) yield some acting that is less than stellar, but everyone and everything in this film feels raw and real, and for those Movie Fans who can make it through the slow parts in this slice-of-life western, they may well feel like they have won the gold buckle themselves. "B-"
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