The Rider (15)
Vivid and intoxicating, Zhao invokes the dust, and cultural claustrophobia of the South Dakota rodeo scene in this probing tale of machismo and yearning. Rodeo star Brady (Jandreau) must rehabilitate after suffering a severe head injury, at the foot of a horse. Continuing physical barriers block him from riding again, despite his friends’ and his own insistence that he’ll be back, and his dwindling resource without his main source of income. Trying to support his alcoholic father and learning disabled sister, the stoic Brady must adapt within a world built around different expectations. Sharply drawn, unrelenting, but beautifully told, this one’s a keeper.
“The commanding abilities Chloé Zhao shows in “The Rider” easily mark her as one of the world’s most important young directors. Yet what really distinguishes her work here is something beyond great filmmaking chops: a vision that is deeply humanistic, founded on a compassionate realism that honors the heartfelt struggles of all the creatures it encounters.”
Godfrey Cheshire, rogerebert.com
Cannes Film Festival 2017, Winner C.I.C.A.E. Award
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