“Lean on Pete” is the latest film from director Andrew Haigh. The guy who did Weekend and 45 Years? Yep, that Haigh made a horse movie. However, it’s a horse movie as done by a heartfelt David Lynch. A young guy heads out to live with his dad in Oregon, but things aren’t going smooth. He befriends a horse trainer that tries to get him work and educate the young man. They bond, but the guy finds himself interested in the loser horse Lean on Pete. Fearing what might happen to the horse, they depart onto a rather long road trip.

When an indie director makes a movie that wouldn’t be out-of-place in the mainstream cinema of past decades, it hits my brain odd. When did a heartfelt movie about a kid bonding with an animal become so niche? Kids still want a connection and they still have trouble finding their purpose in life. Why is it that those stories get buried in the arthouse circuit? Has American Cinema just become the stomping grounds of studio franchises and CG demo reels?

I see comedy after comedy fight their way to the trough, but the mature drama seems to suffer by neglect. Steve Buscemi kills in the movie and I hope that he stays in contention for Best Supporting Actor at next year’s Oscars. However, I expect most of you to discover this one on home video. At last count, there are no Avengers in this film.


  • R
  • 2 hrs and 1 min
  • A24



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