‘The Rider’ Director Chloé Zhao to Helm Biopic About Bass Reeves, the First Black U.S. Marshall, for Amazon Studios

It will be her third feature.

Don’t expect Chloé Zhao to ride off into the sunset anytime soon. With her acclaimed new film in theaters after winning acclaim on the festival circuit over the last year, she’s now set her follow-up: a biopic about Bass Reeves, the first black U.S. Deputy Marshall, for Amazon Studios. It will be her third feature, following “Songs My Brother Taught Me” (which premiered at Sundance in 2015) and “The Rider.”

Zhao will both write and direct the historical Western, reports Deadline, which “follow Reeves’ journey as a young man born into slavery in 1838 who fled to the Indian Territory in search of freedom and went on to become one of the greatest lawmen of the American West.”

“The Rider” premiered at Cannes, where it won the Art Cinema Award, and went on to receive Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Feature, Director, Editing, and Cinematography; Zhao was also honored with the inaugural Bonnie Award, which recognizes female filmmakers and includes a $50,000 grant.

‘Lean on Pete’ and ‘The Rider’: Two Bold Westerns Show What Foreign-Born Directors Can Bring to the Genre

IndieWire spoke with U.K. filmmaker Andrew Haigh and China-born Chloé Zhao about the joy and difficulties of shooting the exotic West.

The best Westerns often come from outsiders. Fred Zinnemann’s Oscar-winner “High Noon,” Fritz Lang’s “Rancho Notorious,” William Wyler’s “The Big Country,” Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” — all from Germans and Austrians. And of course, Sergio Leone’s classics starring Clint Eastwood were filmed by an Italian in Spain.

Now we can add U.K. filmmaker Andrew Haigh and China-born Chloé Zhao to their number. Neither set out to comment on classic western genre tropes with “Lean on Pete” (A24) and “The Rider” (Sony Pictures Classics), both of which earned raves on the festival circuit before hitting theaters this month. They shot in the badlands of Colorado and South Dakota, respectively. And both filmmakers explore the relationship between young men, their horses, and the nature that surrounds them. (Their distributors are slowly rolling them out across the heartland.)

“The Rider”

“The Rider”

New Yorker Zhao shot her 2013 documentary “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” in South Dakota. “The connection, the relationship between human beings and nature, is something that did not come natural to me,” she said. “I didn’t understand it or explore it growing up. In my late 20s, I felt I needed it, I don’t have it in my life. I went out West; Pine Ridge is the place I ended up at. It’s a pretty extreme place compared to New York. It was great for me to have boot camp, to go cold turkey on something I’m used to. It was a great way for me to balance as a person and as a storyteller.”

While shooting, Zhao found herself drawn to charismatic young Lakota cowboy Brady Jandreau. In 2016, he suffered a horrific rodeo accident when a bucking bronco broke his skull, sending him into a three-day coma. When he emerged, doctors told him to give up the riding and competing that defined his life. Now, the filmmaker had a story.

Within months, she started her five-week shoot with cinematographer Joshua James Richards. “I didn’t want to stop after the first film,” she said on the phone. “I wanted to explore even more. It wasn’t enough. I made a lot of mistakes. I wanted to just go deeper. When I met Brady, I had the perfect vehicle for it.”

In one shot, we see Brady as the film character Brady, reacting to video of his very real accident. In another, he whispers a prayer to his beloved horse Gus (played by another horse), after he finds out his father is selling him. It’s magic hour, he gently climbs on his back, and it’s stunning. “That was the very first scene I wrote for the whole movie,” said Zhao. “Brady described going outside when it was still dark, with Gus standing there looking at him, waiting for him to ride him, Gus was the first horse. We cast a different, lighter horse, who was better for magic hour.  At this time the world hadn’t woke up yet. It’s just this boy and this horse, no voices. It gives him all the space in the world to make that decision. It’s no big dramatic moment, it’s completely internal. It was important to us to make sure that nature plays into it — and the beauty.”

It took three magic hours to film the minute-and-a-half scene. (A horse with no halter can easily walk away.) And magic hour lasts for only half an hour.

“The Rider”

Zhao walks a delicate tightrope between fact and fiction, using Brady’s real friends and family for her cast of non-pros. His father Tim Jandreau had to agree, of course. And eventually, he did, even though the parent he plays is tougher and less kind. Brady was training wild horses within a month, in a corral 60 miles away from the nearest hospital, getting on them while they were bucking, although he’s given up rodeo. “I trust that Brady knows where his limit is,” said Zhao.

Brady doesn’t have a seizure in his hand; that’s performance. And accident victim Lane Scott suffered a car crash; in the editing process Zhao realized audiences would assume it was a rodeo incident, and let it go.

“Factually, only 40 percent is fake,” she said. “Many things happened naturally. Brady is a specific personality; I knew how he would react and speak within the scene, but 90 percent he’s acting. Real-life scenes are with with Lily, the horses, and improvised scenes with Lane. The real Brady is an upbeat, talkative funny guy, definitely not that somber. He’s playing a character for sure.”

“Lean on Pete”

“I like going to a new environment with open eyes,” Haigh said on the phone. He spent four months checking out the Portland, Ore. suburbs where the movie begins, going to the horse races at Portland Meadows, and driving the desert route through Idaho to Denver, choosing locations for the road movie’s second half. This time, given the exotic terrain, he did get a bigger budget: $8 million from UK funding and the BFI, with A24 picking up North American rights early on.

“Lean on Pete” is another story of a boy (Charlie Plummer) in love with a horse. But, said Haigh, “in the end, it was always about Charley, not the horse or the world he’s living in. It’s his isolation. Here was a good kid who wants normal things in life but because of his situation is allowed to fall through the cracks, left alone in the world, desperate and longing. It drew me, I felt for that kid, I was amazed at his reliance, the hope he clings on to in an unhopeful situation. He has a broken heart.”

A lot happens to Charley that makes his life difficult as he pushes to get what he seeks: stability and security. “He’s a good kid who wants to be loved and protected, but doesn’t feel he deserves that love and protection,” said Haigh.

“Lean on Pete”

Charlie has a relationship with his boss, a craggy racehorse owner (Steve Buscemi) and his jaded female jockey (Chloe Sevigne). However, their ability to help is limited and Charley’s main relationship is with Pete. “He tells things to the horse, his only friend, who he’s so desperate to care for,” said Haigh. “Both are being abandoned by the people who are supposed to look after them, but he doesn’t have the strength to look after the horse.”

Casting was key. Haigh had to find a young actor of a certain age who could carry every scene. “The thing I was most anxious about was not only did I need someone who was incredibly good as an actor, on the cusp of being a child and an adult, but I wanted a Charley who looks grown-up as a little boy lost in the world, who you believe could drive a truck but who is not a fully fledged adult. Charlie Plummer could understand on a fundamental level and was able to bring something subtle and interesting to the role I wasn’t expecting.”

All of Haigh’s films are about a feeling. “I dig into something, and find a way to get there,” he said. “I knew it was about the end of the film. The endings to me are the key moment — in ‘Weekend’, and ’45 Years.’ I know how I want my gut to feel at the ending. Even if I can’t articulate in words what that feeling is, I’m trying to find ways to get there.” Sometimes that means holding back and making the audience work a little harder. “It’s almost an investment between the audience and me as filmmaker. We’re going to do this together, and I will give you some emotional catches that won’t come when you think.”

The feeling he summons is universal and packs a gut punch. “We can all understand that feeling of being alone in the world trying to find ways to not be alone,” he said. As he timed out the different phases in the editing room, Haigh took the chance that holding out for the payoff was the right thing to do. “I was a little nervous,” he said.

Haigh knows that his films “are not for everybody,” he said. “It would be insane to pretend that they’re commercial. Certain people like the way I make films and others do not. I’ve come to terms with the fact that there’s no other way I can make films. If I tried to do it in a different way, it would never work. I have to stop worrying too much.”

For his next logistical challenge, Haigh moves from horses to whales and icebergs as he returns to TV (he was showrunner on HBO’s “Looking”) to shoot a five-part limited TV series on Canada’s Baffin Island for See-Saw Films and the BBC. “The North Water” based on an 1850s whaling mission to the Arctic, is “about men on a boat going into an existential crisis, heading to the Arctic and stranded on the ice,” he said.

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‘Borg vs McEnroe’ Flounders at Indie Box Office While ‘The Rider’ Shines

In a quieter weekend for the indie box office, NEON’s “Borg vs. McEnroe,” Janus Metz Pedersen’s film about the tennis rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe had a disappointing start, making only $50,135 for a per screen average of just $1,045. The film starring Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason as the famed duo was released on 46 screens and has an 82 percent RT score.

On the flip side, Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Rider” posted the top per screen average from its three-screen release. Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film made $45,268 for a PSA of $15,089.

Also Read: ‘Rampage’ Stomps Past ‘A Quiet Place’ for $34.5 Million Box Office Win

“The Rider” stars Brady Jandreau as a Lakota rodeo rider who hoped that his skills on a horse would lead him out of poverty on the reservation he lives on, but must come to a personal reckoning after serious head trauma forces him to end his rodeo career. The film has received critical acclaim with a 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Also disappointing was the indie animation film “Sgt. Stubby,” which tells the true story of the titular Boston Terrier who became a hero during World War I for finding wounded soldiers in No Man’s Land, becoming the first dog to be promoted to Sergeant in the U.S. Army. While it had a 90 percent RT score, it only made $1.1 million from 1,633.

Also Read: ‘The Rider’ Film Review: Lyrical Tale of Injured Rodeo Star Heralds a Major Talent

Finally, there’s Bleecker Street’s “Beirut,” a thriller starring Jon Hamm as a former U.S. diplomat who comes out of retirement to save a colleague from the group that killed his family in 1980s Beirut. Also starring Rosamund Pike and Dean Norris, the film made $1.6 million from 755 screens for a PSA of just under $2,200

Among holdovers, IFC’s “The Death of Stalin” added $460,000 from 325 screens in its sixth weekend to bring its total to $6.2 million. Amazon’s “You Were Never Really Here” expanded to 51 screens in its second weekend for $310,000 to bring its total to $497,000.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Rampage’ Stomps Past ‘A Quiet Place’ for $34.5 Million Box Office Win

5 Reasons ‘A Quiet Place’ Became Horror’s Latest Box Office Sensation

‘You Were Never Really Here’ Rides Cannes Praise to Big Indie Box Office Start

In a quieter weekend for the indie box office, NEON’s “Borg vs. McEnroe,” Janus Metz Pedersen’s film about the tennis rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe had a disappointing start, making only $50,135 for a per screen average of just $1,045. The film starring Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason as the famed duo was released on 46 screens and has an 82 percent RT score.

On the flip side, Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Rider” posted the top per screen average from its three-screen release. Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film made $45,268 for a PSA of $15,089.

“The Rider” stars Brady Jandreau as a Lakota rodeo rider who hoped that his skills on a horse would lead him out of poverty on the reservation he lives on, but must come to a personal reckoning after serious head trauma forces him to end his rodeo career. The film has received critical acclaim with a 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Also disappointing was the indie animation film “Sgt. Stubby,” which tells the true story of the titular Boston Terrier who became a hero during World War I for finding wounded soldiers in No Man’s Land, becoming the first dog to be promoted to Sergeant in the U.S. Army. While it had a 90 percent RT score, it only made $1.1 million from 1,633.

Finally, there’s Bleecker Street’s “Beirut,” a thriller starring Jon Hamm as a former U.S. diplomat who comes out of retirement to save a colleague from the group that killed his family in 1980s Beirut. Also starring Rosamund Pike and Dean Norris, the film made $1.6 million from 755 screens for a PSA of just under $2,200

Among holdovers, IFC’s “The Death of Stalin” added $460,000 from 325 screens in its sixth weekend to bring its total to $6.2 million. Amazon’s “You Were Never Really Here” expanded to 51 screens in its second weekend for $310,000 to bring its total to $497,000.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Rampage' Stomps Past 'A Quiet Place' for $34.5 Million Box Office Win

5 Reasons 'A Quiet Place' Became Horror's Latest Box Office Sensation

'You Were Never Really Here' Rides Cannes Praise to Big Indie Box Office Start

Indie Box Office: Women-Directed Movies Kick Ass, Lead by ‘Grace Jones: Bloodfight and Bami’

“The Rider and “Zama” round out three openers directed by women, as Lynne Ramsay holdover “You Were Never Really Here” continues to pull cinephiles.

Art houses got an infusion of fresh blood this weekend, as a wide range of films did business in limited release. Three new films directed by women showed interest, led by the strong showing of the documentary “Grace Jones: Bloodfight and Bami” (Kino Lorber), and two landed among the highest Metascores of the year: “The Rider” (Sony Pictures Classics) and “Zama” (Strand.)

A wider release for bigger-budget and more mainstream “Beirut,” even with decent reviews, didn’t fare as well. And two high profile festival films, tennis biopic “Borg Vs. McEnroe” (A24) and Win Wenders’ “Submergence” (Goldwyn) joined the Sundance premiere “Come Sunday” (Netflix) for token theater dates while pulling eyeballs in home venues.

Among the established hits, “Isle of Dogs” (Fox Searchlight) reached its widest point yet, while “The Death of Stalin” is still adding gross in its later stages.

Opening

Grace Jones: Bloodfight and Bami (Kino Lorber)- Metacritic: 75; Festivals include: Toronto 2017

$60,442 in 3 theaters; PTA: $20,147

Theatrical releases about well-known creative figures have often done better than expected business, but this sky-high result led the weekend’s limited openings. This documentary about the iconic performer delivered at New York locations that do not usually perform at this level (Lincoln Center, Metrograph, and BAM Rose). The numbers on Saturday showed a good increase from opening day, suggesting some depth to the interest beyond core fans.

What comes next: Los Angeles and Boston open this Friday, with grosses like these certain to attract significant further interest.

Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider”

The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 92; Festivals include: Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, New York 2017, Sundance 2018

$45,268 in 3 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $15,089

After scoring among the year’s best raves from a lineup of top festivals, Chloe Zhao’s second feature opened in three top New York/Los Angeles theaters to decent results. It’s not a conventional coastal city specialized film. Using non-actors, it recreates the life of a young rodeo rider after an accident changes his life goals.

With strong opening numbers, this could break out in the heartland. Saturday showed a healthy 43 per cent increase from Friday. SPC has a history of taking films like this and nurturing them to get maximum results. Consider this a work in progress.

What comes next: Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington begin the expansion this week.

Beirut Jon Hamm Rosamund Pike Dean Norris

“Beirut”

Beirut (Bleecker Street) – Metacritic: 70; Festivals include: Sundance 2018

$1,656,000 in 755 theaters; PTA: $2,193; Cumulative: $2,028,000

This well-reviewed Middle East kidnap drama, which debuted at Sundance, has a strong pedigree: director Brad Anderson (“Transsiberian,” “The Machinist”), writer Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) and star Jon Hamm. Bleecker Street set this for a Wednesday nationwide rather than limited release, in part to rouse word of mouth going into the weekend.

The result was mediocre, falling short of the Top Ten and positioning the film for unlikely further expansion. It could top out under $4 million. Jon Hamm continues to suffer the fate of many top television stars who find it tricky to establish themselves as movie leads.

What comes next: This should hold its dates for at least another week, but doesn’t look to have much heft beyond.

“Zama”

Zama (Strand) – Metacritic: 90; Festivals include: Venice, Toronto, New York 2017

$23,788 in 2 theaters; PTA: $11,894

Argentine Lucretia Martel boasts credible openings for two of her earlier films (“The Holy Girl” and “The Headless Woman”), but those were a decade or more ago in better times for subtitled fare. Her most recent effort is set in colonial South America as a loyal Spanish official anxiously awaits a transfer from his remote post. Manohla Dargis’ prominent New York Times rave Friday helped launch this at two Manhattan theaters to more than respectable results for a high-end arthouse foreign language title these days.

What comes next: This will be shown nationwide in a combination of festival, repertory, and regular theatrical engagements. Los Angeles and other top markets see this on April 27.

Hitler’s Hollywood (Kino Lorber) – Metacritic: 73; Festivals include: Telluride 2017

$10,177 in 1 theaters; PTA: $10,177; Cumulative: $10,177

This survey of studio escapist moviemaking in Nazi Germany opened at New York’s Film Forum on Wednesday with a decent initial result. (The above estimate is for the five days, not the weekend.)

What comes next: Most cities are not yet set, with repertory houses the most likely venues.

Also streaming:

Submergence (Goldwyn/Toronto 2017) – $(est.) 3,000 in 10 theaters

Borg Vs. McEnroe (A24/Toronto 2017) – $(est.) 48,000 in 44 theaters

Ekaterina Samsonovand Joaquin Phoenix in Lynne Ramsay’s YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

“You Were Never Really Here”

Alison Cohen Rosa | Amazon Studios

Week Two

You Were Never Really Here (Amazon)

$343,282 in 51 theaters (+48); PTA: $6,358; Cumulative: $511,115

Lynne Ramsey’s strong study of a troubled man who rescues girls from sex slavers (starring Joaquin Phoenix) had a reasonable quick expansion to major cities. This not easy-sell title is boosted by continued strong reviews. Further expansion will indicate how deep the interest is.

"Lean on Pete"

“Lean on Pete”

A24

Lean on Pete (A24)

$79,021 in 18 theaters (+14); PTA: $4,390; Cumulative: $141,437

Acclaimed British director Andrew Haigh’s first American set film expanded to other top cities this weekend to more modest results than his recent “45 Years.” The story of a working-class teen finding purpose in life when he rescues a quarter horse continues to get strong reviews, which combined with A24’s support should guarantee a further expansion.

"Isle of Dogs"

“Isle of Dogs”

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)

Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 4

$5,000,000 in 1,939 theaters (+1,345); Cumulative: $18,451,000

Only Wes Anderson’s earlier animated “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” has ever played as many theaters among his films. That grossed an adjusted $8.4 million in over 2,000 theaters playing Thanksgiving weekend (an elevated time for this kind of film). It also played earlier in its run, while “Isle” had already in staggered expansions already grossed over $13 million before this weekend. This looks to get to over $30 million, which would be about half of the take for his most recent success “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

“The Death of Stalin”

Nicola Dove

Death of Stalin (IFC) Week 6

$474,692 in 325 theaters (-223); Cumulative: $6,313,000

Kremlin intrigue decades ago continues to stand out above most other recent specialized releases. This has done most of its business, but its likely ultimate take of $8 million is more than credible for tough-sell political-historic satire.

Finding Your Feet (Roadside Attractions) Week 3

$309,740 in 277 theaters (+220); Cumulative: $590,939

This middle-age British romance moves to wider markets. The results are mediocre at best, with only a little more than a $1,000 average per theater gross.

The Leisure Seeker (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$276,289 in 276 theaters (-77); Cumulative: $2,350,000

Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland’s East Coast road trip continues to do some business with older audiences. It will only do a small fraction of the business as Mirren’s recent specialized breakouts “Eye in the Sky” and “Woman in Gold.”

Also noted:

Final Portrait (Sony Pictures Classics) – $38,808 in 32 theaters; Cumulative: $200,265

Back to Burgundy (Music Box) – $21,690 in 18 theaters; Cumulative: $135,263

Itzhak (Greenwich) – $ in 6 theaters; Cumulative: $

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‘Grace Jones’ Slays Competition, ‘Rider’ Rock-Solid: Specialty Box Office

Kino Lorber documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami debuted to robust numbers over the weekend, grossing $60,442 in three locations, giving it an impressive $20,147 per theater average.
That’s the highest of the weekend and one of the best among all 2018 non-fiction openings. The same distributor also bowed Hitler’s Hollywood with an exclusive showing, taking in $10,177.
Sony Classics rode The Rider into a trio of runs starting Friday for a solid $45,268 start…

Kino Lorber documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami debuted to robust numbers over the weekend, grossing $60,442 in three locations, giving it an impressive $20,147 per theater average. That’s the highest of the weekend and one of the best among all 2018 non-fiction openings. The same distributor also bowed Hitler's Hollywood with an exclusive showing, taking in $10,177. Sony Classics rode The Rider into a trio of runs starting Friday for a solid $45,268 start…

‘The Rider’ Puts a Female Lens on Toxic Masculinity

In this essay produced as part of the NYFF Critics Academy, Caroline Cao looks at how the story of a Lakota cowboy interrogates the American dream.

This article was originally produced as part of the NYFF Critics Academy. “The Rider” is now playing in limited release.

“You can overcome anything if you work hard enough” is an infectious idea, a brick in the foundation of the American Dream. But that depends on how accessible that dream is in the first place. The titular hero Brady Blackburn of “The Rider” confronts such boundaries as he pines to return to the rodeo pedestal.

Rarely do Native Americans faces command an onscreen presence. While the recent historical romance “A Woman Walks Ahead” empowers Native American voices, it still fits a pattern of regulating Native Americas as supporting players to white-centric narratives. On the other hand, Chloe Zhao’s gentle drama “The Rider” gives the spotlight to the Lakota face of Brady Jandreau, whose real-life head injury inspired the film.

Zhao shot “The Rider” and her first Lakota-centric feature “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, which encompasses a dark history of American oppression, namely the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre. Zhao commits to the naturalism to illuminate the crass realism of day-to-day lives. Harkening back to “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” where the hero had to choose between homeland loyalty and leaving its dreary borders, Brady is disillusioned in his homeland of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Zhao anchors Brady in a harsh reality where dreams just aren’t feasible, physically, and economically.

Like Valeska Grisebach’s “Western,” “The Rider” places a female lens on the toxic masculinity that plagues society. Wracked with a crippling damage in his brain and hand, Brady wants to resurrect his glory days as the masculine “cowboy up” ideal. But his head injury, in which the wounds are exposed in the chilling opening as Brady plucks off blood-tipped surgical staples, imposes considerable inertia as he lugs himself toward reviving his bronco-riding career.

Zhao complicates our reaction to Brady’s pursuit by unfurling the layers of his predicament from economical to spiritual. On one hand, it respects his free-spirited desire to get back up. In his desperate economic station, we feel for Brady as he takes up a menial job as a price-checker to pay off his father’s gambling debts in a sterilized store, a black-hole nightmare for many in the poverty loop. On the other hand, his physical constraints are incurable. His dream could cost him his life, but the “die trying” adage sounds like a consolation should the dream claim his life.

DP Joshua James Richards shooting "The Rider"

DP Joshua James Richards shooting “The Rider”

In every film, we do not want to believe the naysayers. His father Tim (Tim Jandreau) gruffly commands him, “let go,” judging that his son’s delusions of grandeur could lead to fatality. It’s antagonistic and rubs salt in Brady’s wounds. Brady’s fellow friends believe in him, but they don’t buy that Brady’s condition needs gradual recovery time or is incurable. So much for the ideal of “hard work gets you anywhere.” It can’t cure a head and bodily injury. But Brady can hide his wounds underneath his hat so that from the distance, he looks functional in the eyes of his less informed friends. Thus, expectations are projected onto him. Masculine peers insist he’s a failure if he does not get back in the arena. They don’t see his injury as a grim anchor, but as just another hurdle to jump over.

To counterpoint these “supportive” friends’ unrealistic expectations, Brady turns to another acquaintance for empathy: a tetraplegic Lane Scott (playing himself) who bears a bronco-related damage that Brady cannot hide beneath his cowboy hat. With Lane, Brady finds relief from the pushiness of his friends, and they watch their good ole’ days on crude iPhone videos where they were worshipped superstars before their respective injuries. Unlike Brady’s able-bodied friends, Lane first-hand knows that not everything is hunky-dory with Brady’s quest.

Zhao leaves an understated tragedy in the inconclusiveness to Brady’s predicament. Brady nearly crosses the borders of the rodeo ring for his epic career comeback, but he walks away at peace with his vulnerability for better or worse. Lane feeds Brady some encouragement to not give up on his dreams, but Brady is left to meditate on its open-ended meaning. Can Brady choose to try again if he wishes? Or should Brady redefine the dream to find satisfaction?

We trust Brady can survive. He doesn’t need to indulge in grandiose visions; there is satisfaction in hunkering down. Lane’s encouraging lets Brady be open to other avenues. But we’re not shown happier alternatives for Brady’s post-rodeo existence. Nor is the whole of Brady’s underprivileged society resolved. Who is part of the American Dream? Certainly not those excluded from the prosperity of the American Dream. Sometimes the practicalities of life aren’t obstacles, but realities. Sometimes the forces that question that sparked these dreams in the first place are questionable.

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‘Krystal’, ‘Aardvark’, ‘The Rider’ & ‘Submergence’ Among Weekend Newcomers – Specialty B.O. Preview

William H. Macy returns to the big screen for the third time as director with comedic drama Krystal, in which he appears with stars Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson, Kathy Bates and Felicity Huffman. The feature, being released via Great Point Media/Paladin Friday, first caught the attention of producer Rachel Winter in 2002. Krystal is one of two Great Point Media titles hitting theaters this weekend, the other being Brian Shoaf’s Aardvark with Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate…

William H. Macy returns to the big screen for the third time as director with comedic drama Krystal, in which he appears with stars Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson, Kathy Bates and Felicity Huffman. The feature, being released via Great Point Media/Paladin Friday, first caught the attention of producer Rachel Winter in 2002. Krystal is one of two Great Point Media titles hitting theaters this weekend, the other being Brian Shoaf's Aardvark with Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate…