Dir: Chloé Zhao, 2017, USA, 104 mins, Cert: 15
Sun 30 September // 19:00 *
Mon 1 October // 20:00
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession / * cheap night)
Brady Jandreau is extraordinary as a badly injured former champion rider and horse trainer. Doctors tell him he must give up the sport – one that is his passion but also his lifeline – for fear it may kill him. While his sister Lily is mentally disabled and his father drinks, gambles and womanises, Brady is the crutch that supports the family – but without the rodeo, he’s facing a life of misery.
The hardscrabble economy of America’s rodeo country, where, for some, riding and winning is the only source of pleasure and income, is depicted with exceptional compassion and truth by a filmmaker who is in no way an insider: Zhao was born in Beijing and educated at Mount Holyoke and NYU. Set on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, The Rider is a fiction film that calls on nonprofessional actors to play characters similar to themselves, incorporating their skill sets and experiences.
Financial Times - 5 stars (Nigel Andrews): "If the movie glowed any more in its blend of human heartache and landscape lyricism — plus those horses — it could join the planets in the sky."
Time Out - 5 stars (Joseph Walsh): "Beautiful... Nothing short of magnificent":
The Guardian - 4 star review (Peter Bradshaw): "A very impressive, very accomplished film"
The Independent - 4 star review (Geoffrey MacNab):"The film has an authenticity that you don’t find in even the biggest-budgeted, most exhaustively-researched westerns... Portrays its troubled main character with extraordinary tenderness and insight."