The Rider (2018)

Directed by Chloé Zhao

Drama | Biography

Most recently watched by sleestakk


Once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, and a gifted horse trainer, young cowboy Brady is warned that his riding days are over, after a horse crushed his skull at a rodeo. Back home on the Pine Ridge Reservation, with little desire or alternatives for a different way of life, Brady’s sense of inadequacy mounts as he is unable to ride or rodeo – the essentials of being a cowboy. In an attempt to regain control of his own fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

Length 105 minutes


Brady Jandreau | Tim Jandreau | Lilly Jandreau | Cat Clifford | Terri Dawn Pourier | Lane Scott | Tanner Langdeau | James Calhoon | Derrick Janis | Greg Barber | Steven DeWolfe | Leroy Pourier | Frank Steele | Donnie Whirlwind Horse | Alan Reddy | Marshall Byrne | jordon Slick Phelps

Viewing Notes

Another film I missed in 2018 (it only screened at MBT). The logline / premise never grabbed me despite the excellent WOM. Now having seen this I can say that the basic synopsis doesn’t really sell the movie but I don’t know what else they could’ve done. This movie knocked me on my ass. Such a poignant and heartfelt portrayal of this rodeo star dealing w/his life in the aftermath of his injury.

It really crushed me and brought me to tears by the end. And honestly for most of it I was like “yeah okay I understand” but slowly it seeped through me and was very touching and affecting. Outstanding movie.

==//== Spoilerish ==//==

What I didn’t realize… this is based on true events *and* features the actual RL people from those events. (!!!!) Brady Jandreau is portraying himself and those around him are his real family and friends. This just blows my mind. He is so fucking good! This is literally his first movie and he suffered this injury then acted as himself in the movie dealing with his life in recovery. I did not know this until I watched the extras (his interview at SXSW w/Logan!). I guess that’s why this movie looks and feels so authentic; he’s really breaking / training horses in real time as they shot the movie. Brady says in the Q&A that only about 60% is accurate and 40% is fabricated but then goes on to say it was things like the encounters in the grocery store, which is really a minor aspect of the overall story. This is like a docu-drama but I don’t think seen one that uses the actual people that were involved. Just remarkable.

Of course this isn’t a spoiler if you already know this going into the movie. I did not. I only knew the general premise which as noted never hooked me. But color me impressed. It’s really wild that Chloe Zhao was chosen for a big time Marvel flick after this. Yes, she is talented and it shows but this movie couldn’t be farther from that kind of Hollywood Studio / Disney tentpole type of production.

This is a personal and intimate story so now I’m really curious what she does in that MCU sandbox.


No comments yet. Log in and be the first!