‘ Lean On Pete' Is A Tale Of A Boy And His Horse
The Christian Science Monitor Weekly|April 16, 2018

DIRECTOR ANDREW HAIGH HAS A REAL FEELING FOR PEOPLE.

Peter Rainer

At its simplest, “Lean on Pete” is about a boy and his horse. Writer-director Andrew Haigh, adapting a novel by Willy Vlautin, has a principled reticence that serves the story well. I was afraid at first that I would be watching a sobfest. I needn’t have worried. Nothing very grand is being attempted here, but there’s a core of feeling to what we are witnessing that keeps the sentimentality in check.

Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) has recently relocated with his itinerant single father, Ray (Travis Fimmel), to Portland, Ore. It’s summer break from high school, and Charley, wanting to do more than mope about, begins to frequent the local quarter horse track. A scruffy trainer and owner, Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi), gives the boy part-time work cleaning the stable and transport trailer where Del houses his horses, and pretty soon Charley has bonded with Lean on Pete, a 5-year-old quarter horse who has seen better days (and even those days were none too good).

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