Reviewed by: Keith Howland
|Featuring:||Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Freddy Rodriguez, Kris Kristofferson, Elisabeth Shue|
|Producer:||Michael Tollin, Brian Robbins, E.K. Gaylord II|
Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) and his wife Lily (Elisabeth Shue) are struggling financially. Ben has a strained relationship with his father (Kris Kristofferson) and an underdeveloped one with his only daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning). He never had the chance to own and race his own horses, as he dreamt of doing as a child. Now his job is to ensure the wellness of racehorses for their wealthy owner.
When a horse named Sonador (played by Sacrifice) breaks her leg in a race, Ben refuses to have her put down, but instead brings her home. He loses his job, so he occupies himself with restoring Sonador to health. He is pragmatic in his hopes of making money from the wounded mare, but Cale has big dreams. Her dream is that Sonador, whose name is Spanish for “Dreamer,” will run again-and win.
The outcome of this film will not surprise anyone. But that does not matter. What matters is that it ends the way you want it to. It is told with such unblushing conviction (and with such gorgeous horses and scenery), that its intended audience should be satisfied. This is not a film for the cynical; it is a film for all who believe in long shots and second chances—and who doesn’t?
This film is refreshingly inoffensive. Its few mild profanities can be counted on one hand, and the pivotal horse injury is not graphic. Parents need not fear taking their children, although perhaps the pace of the film is best suited for children of about ten and older. (Cale is the character with whom the viewer is meant to relate, and she is about ten or eleven.)
Another refreshing aspect of the film is its meaningful themes, which include working together as a family and encouraging others to pursue their interests by using their abilities. Perhaps most central to the film, however, is the value of doing something for someone else above the pursuit of personal gain. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), and “Dreamer” is evidence of that great dictum.
Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None