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A DRAMA ABOUT A FATHER WHO, FOR THE LOVE OF HIS DAUGHTER, SACRIFICES ALMOST EVERYTHING TO SAVE THE LIFE OF AN INJURED RACEHORSE AND BRING THE PROMISING FILLY BACK TO HER FORMER GLORY. INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY.
The title is a mouthful, but Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story hits the winner's circle as a warm and inspiring family film. Ben Crane Kurt Russell is a Kentucky horse trainer who watches in horror as a championship filly breaks its leg during a practice run. Ordinarily that means curtains, but today Ben's daughter, Cale Dakota Fanning, is at the track, and Ben impulsively buys the horse and loses his job in one fell swoop. The rehabilitation process is almost too much for a farm that's already struggling to survive in a modern economy, but the horse turns out to be a much-needed salve to the nearly broken family, including Ben's wife Elisabeth Shue and father Kris Kristofferson. The cast is excellent, especially Fanning who at age 11 has become a major star and was branded by Entertainment Weekly as the most powerful actress in Hollywood, and the film is well-paced by director-writer John Gatins and beautifully shot by cinematographer Fred Murphy. Surely the ultimate fate of the horse and the family won't surprise anyone, but young girls who love horses often don't need a surprise ending. They need a reason to cheer, and Dreamer delivers all the way. Ages 6 and older: moments of horse peril --David Horiuchi