The Rider (2018)
Critic Consensus: The Rider's hard-hitting drama is only made more effective through writer-director Chloé Zhao's use of untrained actors to tell the movie's fact-based tale.
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as Brady Blackburn
as Wayne Blackburn
as Lilly Blackburn
as Lane Scott
as Job Center Counselor
as Rodeo Cowboy #1
as Rodeo Cowboy #2
as Rodeo Cowboy #3
as Terri Dawn
as Bar Owner
as Bar Patron #1
as Bar Patron #2
as Mile's Son
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Critic Reviews for The Rider
Jandreau proves a charismatic draw, even if some of the supporting non-actors struggle with naturalistic performances.
A remarkable film in many respects, and Zhao works wonders with a non-professional cast.
What is most startling here is the sensitivity with which [director Chloé] Zhao tackles such a downbeat tale.
Not fiction; not documentary. Instead, a story standing under a chimerical moon while fate, laconic and inarticulate like its victims, growls from far off.
Brady, rarely raising his voice above a murmur, takes us on an emotional journey, figuring out his own way forward. The plains go on forever; so, we hope, does hope.
Audience Reviews for The Rider
For a movie thatâ(TM)s literally about getting back on the horse after it bucks you off, The Rider is so very subdued that itâ(TM)s difficult to become fully enraptured in it. It gets to a certain level of emotional involvement where the idea that the pain endured by Brady Blackburn (who is Brady Jandreau playing a version of his real life self) in walking away from the only thing he loves is far deeper and more painful than anything heâ(TM)d have ever experienced while riding and yet-this still feels incomplete. I donâ(TM)t know, maybe Iâ(TM)m just upset Brady never took his precious younger sister, Lilly, to the carnival like he promised her.
Zhao wisely sidesteps the inspirational narrative route and sticks to a simpler character study. The results are often poetic, but never pretentious or condescending. The use of untrained actors may be the most interesting choice, it only enhances the film's emotional potency.
Despite lacking in dramatic intensity like its non-professional leading actor, The Rider is a perceptive character study that blends fact and fiction. Full review on filmotrope. com
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