by N. Renee Brown
Basically: A woman in need of some joy in her life decided to breed a racing horse — and she does with the help of some members of her town.
Before we start…let me tell you this is based on an amazing true story!
Jan (the amazing Toni Collette) works in a local grocery, lives in a little house, has an unemployed husband, and helps take care of her parents. But she wants something more — she feels bored and trapped until one night she hears a man talking about race horses. She’s hooked, and successfully breeds a colt to race. With the help of people in her town the horse successfully competes and brings hope back to a woman and a town who had long since lost it.
Photo credit: Kerry Brown / Bleecker Street & Topic Studios
Dream Horse is a feel-good movie. The cast is real and relatable, and Toni Collette knocks it out of the park as usual. With the world the way it is right now, I feel like Jan (Collette) is all of us: tired, trapped, and looking for something to bring the world back to life. The joy of triumph, sprinkled here and there with tragedy and conflict, makes this a good movie. Sadly, not a great one.
Throughout this movie I felt like I was listening to a scratched record. Everything would be lovingly laid out, the characters in place, and the story would be clicking along and then it skips forward in time. The baby is being raised in the allotment shed >> skip >> now he is old enough to go for training >> skip >> now he is racing. You get the idea. I felt so robbed. I wanted to experience this story, I wanted to revel in it, but I felt like there was so much story to tell that there wasn’t enough time to tell it. Sadly, I think this may have been better served as a mini-series.
In the End: If you are a horse lover, take a minute to look this up. Dream Horse will make you feel good about life and the devotion people have to animals. Just be prepared to be rushed through the story.