4 May 2018.
LEAN ON PETE (La route sauvage) ****
There are films that stay in the heart. This is one of them – a small gem of an Indy film.
It’s about a teenager whose mother left him as a baby. His father tries to be there for him, but there are money problems, women problems, a stupid altercation and then also he is gone.
But then the kid has found a job working with a fellow (the always ‘natural’ Steve Buscemi) who handles race horses out in Oregon. A horse named Lean on Pete is the boy’s favorite, but he has not been running well lately. And when they slacken off, the horses get sold to Mexico to be slaughtered. So the kid runs off with Pete, and this is their odyssey.
Here is yet another example of a British director – Andrew Haigh – making a film that is more American than the Wild West itself. It’s been happening often lately, as with Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS… , David Mackenzie’s HELL OR HIGH WATER, or Andrea Arnold’s AMERICAN HONEY. All excellent and true to their settings and feel of the people.
The slow mood, the stark yet luminous photography, the superb acting of the whole cast including young Charlie Plummer (John Paul Getty III in Ridley Scott’s ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD) as the boy and his lonely, desperate search for a haven all add up to this film that will not be forgotten easily. It will stay in your heart.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.