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A movie directed by Robert Redford

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"A soft place to fall"

  • May 28, 2000
Pros: Redford still a good look

Cons: ....

Redford's re-entry into the movie theaters as the aging but gentle man dealing with not only wounded horses but also wounded people is a heartwarming event. Kristen Scott Thomas plays the mother who has allowed her career to overshadow her relationships with her daughter and husband (sounds all too familiar in this day and age).

Her daughter had lost a leg in a riding accident, where her best friend was killed, and has become emotionally and physically withdrawn. In an attempt to help her daughter, and herself, she visits the ranch of Redford - the magical horse whisperer.

Redford is able to work his magic on the horse, teaching it the much needed trust it had been lacking, as well as earning the trust of the daughter. In a touching scene, she confesses to Redford her fears since the accident and the loneliness she has felt since her friend died, often blaming herself.

The setting and isolation works magic on all involved, even reaffirming Thomas' faltering relationship with her husband who makes a surprise visit. Unfortunately, the magic works its' way on Redford and Thomas as well and love blooms. In an endearing scene, they dance - at first at the required distance, then gradually pulling closer together - while Thomas' husband sits at a table exchanging stories and beers with the locals.

An emotionally charged movie, durn near a chick flick, with a powerful story to tell of love and relationships and the undying courage of children facing their emotional and physical fears. Beautiful scenery with breathtaking vistas and some wonderful scenes with the animals. Redford shows a remarkable interaction with the horses, even if he was acting there was still a deep felt love for these animals.

Starring Robert Redford (also producer and director), Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Neill, Dianne Wiest, and Scarlett Joansson as the daughter.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Robert Redford directs this compelling story of 14-year-old Grace MacLean (Scarlett Johansson), who is emotionally and physically scarred after suffering a terrible accident while riding her prized horse, Pilgrim. Desperate to help her daughter, Grace's mother, Annie (Kristin Scott Thomas), a high-powered magazine editor, launches an all-out campaign to find a horse whisperer, someone with a unique gift for curing troubled horses. She learns of Tom Booker (Redford), who works to rebuild all the lives shattered by the accident. Love blossoms between the horseman and the uprooted sophisticate, resulting in unexpected consequences. The film was based on the popular novel by Nicholas Evans.
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Director: Robert Redford
Release Date: 1998
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Buena Vista Home Entertainment (November 10, 1998)
Runtime: 2hr 48min
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