Lean on Pete

Certificate 15

(2017) 121 mins

Director: Andrew Haigh
Writers: Andrew Haigh, based on the novel by Willy Vlautin
Cinematography: Magnus Nordenhof Jønck
Production Design: Ryan Warren Smith
Music: James Edward Barker


Fifteen-year-old Charley lives with his alcoholic father (Travis Fimmel) in a run-down house on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. In an effort to help his dad stay afloat, Charley takes a job at a local racetrack where he befriends jaded trainer Del (Steve Buscemi) and burnt-out jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) while caring for an aging horse named Lean on Pete. But as things break down at home and Del announces Pete will be sold to an uncertain fate, the burden becomes too great for Charley to bear and he heads out into the vast American wilderness with Pete in tow.  Featuring an incredible breakout performance by Charlie Plummer and shot in mesmerising style, Lean on Pete is a poignant, compassionate and heart-rending portrait of love, loss and acceptance that resonates with profound humanity.  From the official website

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What is most striking about this feature is the sensitivity with which it is written and directed combined with newcomer Charlie Plummer’s brilliant performance. The camerawork is lovely and artful angles, expression shots, as well as stunning landscape scenes help express the poignancy of the film. With a quiet, pensive style the work completely overtakes your emotions – Lean on Pete is a heartwarming, inspiring gem. “  The Upcoming

Lean on Pete is a methodical and memorable film primarily because director Haight, adapting from Willy Vlautin’s novel, keeps a distance from his characters, never taking the easy route, and never, ever letting the movie enter the killing fields of the corny or cliched. Aided and abetted by the absolutely striking cinematography of Magnus Nordenhof Jønck and a pitch-perfect cast, this is a sweet-and-sour hybrid film of the terrible now that also recalls some of the best of Seventies outsider cinema.”  Austin Chronicle

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