Give These Pets an Oscar! 11 Best Animal Actors in 2018 (Photos)

West Highland White Terrier in “Widows” — and “Game Night”
According to Animal Casting Atlanta, a company that provides animal actors for film, television, music videos and print, Olivia, a “walking stuffed animal&#…

West Highland White Terrier in “Widows” — and “Game Night”

According to Animal Casting Atlanta, a company that provides animal actors for film, television, music videos and print, Olivia, a “walking stuffed animal” stars in “Game Night,” “Widows” and Netflix’s “Insatiable.” She is a three-year-old, 15-pound Westie.

Her trainer, Greg Tresan, told The Ringer that Olivia had her own trailer on the set of “Widows” and received on-site touch-ups. In the film, she plays Davis’ companion as her character, Veronica, mourns the death of her husband and gets roped in to some dangerous business.

Bradley Cooper’s Dog in “A Star Is Born”

Bradley Cooper cast his own dog, Charlie, in his directorial debut, “A Star Is Born.” Charlie is a loyal companion to both Cooper and Lady Gaga in the remake. PETA actually honored Cooper for the act instead of using animal actors.

Freddie Mercury’s Cats in “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Freddie Mercury loved his cats (at one point, he even had 10), and his lover Jim Hutton wrote in his memoir that “Freddie treated the cats like his own children. He would constantly fuss over them, and if any of them came to any harm when Freddie was away, heaven help us. During the day the cats had the run of the house and grounds, and at night one of us would round them up and bring them inside.”

In “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Mercury’s devotion to his cats is clear. Each cat gets its own bedroom in Mercury’s house, and he even asks his girlfriend Mary Austin (played by Lucy Boynton) to put the cats on the phone while he’s on tour.

Dog in “Aquaman”

Aquaman’s earthly family owns a dog and as Arthur Curry grows older, his loyal friend stays behind on land. But my oh my is the puppy cute when they first get him!

Wolf in “Alpha”

The wolf in “Alpha” is named Chuck, a wolf-dog whose lineage stems back to when the Czech military bred wolves with German Shephards in the 1950s, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“He’s got some dog in him, but he is very wolf-like in his look and aloof in a way that dogs aren’t,” dog trainer Mark Forbes told the publication.

Benji in “Benji”

Brandon Camp’s new “Benji” film revolves around the orphaned puppy named Benji, so naturally, this canine made our list. While the film itself received mediocre reviews, Benji was a scene-stealer.

Bo Burnham, The Rider, and First Reformed clean up at the Gotham Awards 

The Gotham Independent Film Awards are pretty much the first major award show of the major award show season, and while they’re too indie-focused to be much of a marker for how the big-time awards early next year will go (we’re specifically talking abo…

The Gotham Independent Film Awards are pretty much the first major award show of the major award show season, and while they’re too indie-focused to be much of a marker for how the big-time awards early next year will go (we’re specifically talking about the Oscars) they do give the film community a chance to…

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Chloe Zhao’s ‘The Rider’ Is a Welcome Antidote to the Age of Donald Trump

Zhao’s unorthodox Western is one of the year’s best movies, and the story behind its production sends a strong message.

ConsiderThis

A little over two years ago, Chloe Zhao was in the badlands of South Dakota, working with a crew of five people and no professional actors, shooting real-life cowboys. The end result, “The Rider,” changed her life.

Her naturalistic Western, about a rodeo rider named Brady (Brady Jandreau) who suffers a debilitating head injury, won the top prize at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight section in 2017 and scored distribution with Sony Pictures Classics. It landed a Best Film nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards in early 2018, before it even hit theaters, and closes the year out with a Gotham nomination in the same category. And Zhao suddenly found herself in the unlikely position of fielding studio offers, one of which she accepted — Marvel’s “The Eternals,” a superhero movie about immortal beings.

So much has happened that Zhao, who grew up in Beijing and moved to the U.S. as a teenager, still can’t process it. “We made this film without anybody knowing about it,” she said in a phone interview. “I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure how people would react to someone in a cowboy hat.”

This has been a crucial aspect of “The Rider” that has allowed it to linger as a critical favorite in year-end discussions over a year after it first generated heat: As America reels from one of the most divisive chapters in its history, and artistic communities recede to cosmopolitan bubbles, one of the year’s most celebrated breakouts presents an unorthodox collision of worlds — a Chinese immigrant sets her gaze on the nation’s oldest genre, and finds renewed intimacy in its depths.

To that end, Zhao has become the ultimate cause celebre of the film community, and “The Rider” provides an antidote to Trumpian ignorance even if its existence predated the concept. She may be a long shot for Best Director in this year’s Oscar race, but the degree of admiration she found from contemporaries supersedes the value of any potential trophies. Above all, the movie represents a kind of collaboration at odds with the current historical moment.

“I think ‘The Rider’ became the type of film it is because of a man and a woman, because the two of us wanted to work together and understand where we were coming from,” Zhao said.

The movie presents its sweeping, empty landscapes and wistful characters as hovering in a perpetual state of melancholy, as Brady contends with the possibility that he must turn his back on horseback riding for good. In his insular world of yawning skies and windswept fields, divorced from politics, the endless cascade of media and technology, the idea of retiring from his field comes like a death sentence. Zhao burrows into that aspect of Brady’s struggle to reveal a man coming to grips with emotions he’s suppressed his whole life. The simplicity of his milieu has made it easy to ignore the big questions. “The Rider” depicts the process of waking up to the wider world for the first time. “There’s a feminine and a masculine side to everyone,” Zhao said. “There are times that we don’t feel comfortable showing one of those.”

"The Rider" Score Composer Nathan Halpern

“The Rider”

Sony Pictures Classics

Zhao’s movie gained currency by the end of 2016, as the results of the presidential election drove conversations about the influx of conservative voters in rural America. In South Dakota, Donald Trump took 65 percent of the vote. “I think it’s a shame that people never paid attention to the heartland,” Zhao said. “After the election, people have been paying such negative attention to it. I’ve seen Brady connecting with audiences at Sundance, at SXSW, in France. I don’t know what it could, but for me, humanizing a person in a cowboy hat is righting the boat a little bit.”

Zhao never approached the movie in political terms. She first came across Jandreau while working on her directorial debut, “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” on a Native American reservation. She was drawn to his James Dean-like features, which seemed at odds with the tenderness he brought to his relationship with animals.

“I just couldn’t stop saying I want to make a film about Brady,” she said. “I didn’t have a message I wanted to convey. I just wanted to put him on screen, somehow.” The reception to “The Rider” around the world has reverberated on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation, where Jandreau grew up. (Members of his family, including his father and his sister, also appear in the movie.) “The community is very moved by it,” Zhao said. But Jandreau receded from the spotlight after the initial wave of attention at festivals. “I hope he has a career as an actor, because I think he’s incredible,” Zhao said. “But when these people they go home, they forget about going to Cannes or Sundance or any awards. They jump straight back to the corral. They have horses to train.”

Zhao herself approached the wave of interest from studios with caution. “‘The Rider’ got a lot of attention when a lot of people were looking for female directors,” she said. “I had to make sure when projects were offered to me, that it was actually because they wanted me. It wasn’t really difficult for me to say no until the right project came around.”

She managed to shoot an under-the-radar project with Frances McDormand this year, but declined to offer details about it. As for “The Eternals,” she insisted that despite the weighty expectations of franchise filmmaking, she settled on an opportunity consistent with her experience to date. “When I grew up in China, I didn’t really have a lot of access to film,” she said. “The first creative storytelling I encountered was Japanese manga. I wanted to be a manga artist for the longest time. I didn’t draw very well. But comic books and animation were always a passion of mine. It wasn’t a huge part of the dialogue at film school. I was very curious to get into that.”

She cited Werner Herzog as a key influence on her filmmaking approach (“I often ask myself, ‘What would Werner do?’”) but fellow Chinese immigrant Ang Lee has been her gold standard for ages. “Ang Lee’s career has been very inspiring to me — how he’s able to bring where he comes from to all the films that he makes,” she said. When she was a film student at NYU, Lee visited to give a lecture, and she was too shy to approach him.

“I’m still learning about this process,” she said. “As directors, our voices are being heard more than ever before, but we need to be seen as individuals. It’s going to take time.”

Comedy, Tragedy And Real Life Fuel ‘Stan & Ollie’, ‘The Rider’ – The Contenders LA

Two movies from Sony Pictures Classics presented at today’s The Contenders LA at the DGA Theater reflect radically different worlds but have in common the challenge of being based on real-life events.
Actor John C. Reilly joined Deadline’s Pete Hammond…

Two movies from Sony Pictures Classics presented at today's The Contenders LA at the DGA Theater reflect radically different worlds but have in common the challenge of being based on real-life events. Actor John C. Reilly joined Deadline's Pete Hammond to discuss the daunting challenge of portraying larger-than-life comedy star Oliver Hardy in Stan & Ollie alongside Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, directed by John S. Baird from a script by Jeff Pope. Hammond started off by…

‘First Reformed,’ ‘The Favourite’ Lead Gotham Awards Nominations for Independent Film

Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Joseph Decker’s “Madeline’s Madeline” and Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider” have been nominated for the top award at the IFP Gotham Awards, the Independent Filmmaker Project announced on Thursday.

In nominations that were evenly distributed among 19 independent movies, “First Reformed” led all films with three nominations – one for the film, one for lead actor Ethan Hawke and one for Schrader’s screenplay about a pastor tortured by the death of his son in Iraq.

“The Favourite,” a twisted period piece set in early 18th century England, received nominations for film and screenplay, as well as a special Gotham Awards voted to its three leading actresses: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

Also Read: ‘First Reformed’ Film Review: Paul Schrader and Ethan Hawke Channel Robert Bresson

Other films with multiple nominations included “Beale Street,” “Madeline,” “Hereditary,” “Eighth Grade,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “Private Life,” “Support the Girls” and “Leave No Trace.”

In the acting categories, the nominees ranged from such likely Oscar contenders as Glenn Close in “The Wife” and Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” to Toni Collette in “Hereditary,” Kathryn Hahn in “Private Life” and Lakeith Sanfield in Sorry to Bother You.”

Some of the most high profile movies to be nominated – including “Roma,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” – were nominated for acting categories but bypassed in the Best Feature category.

Documentary nominees were “Bisbee ’17,” “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” “Minding the Gap,” “Shirkers” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Also Read: ‘The Favourite’ Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce

In the Gotham Awards’ two television categories, nominations went to “Alias Grace,” “Big Mouth,” “The End of the F***ing World,” “Killing Eve,” “Pose” and “Sharp Objects” in long form TV and “195 Lewis,” “Cleaner Daze,” “Distance,” “The F Word” and “She’s the Ticket” in short form.

The winners will be announced at the 28th annual awards ceremony on Nov. 26 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Previously announced tributes will go to director Paul Greengrass, actors Willem Dafoe and Rachel Weisz, and RadicalMedia chairman Jon Kamen.

The New York-based Gotham Awards are one of the two major honors for independent film, and are presented early in awards season. The other major indie awards show, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, takes place in Los Angeles at the end of the season, the day before the Oscars. Its nominations will be announced on Nov. 16.

Also Read: ‘A Star Is Born’ Is a Legit Oscar Contender – And Here’s What Else Is

Gotham nominees are selected by a number of different juries consisting largely of film critics. Films must meet a variety of fairly nebulous requirements, including being “filmmaking with a point of view” that is “made with an economy of means” and is directed and/or produced by a filmmaker born or based in the United States.

Last year, two of the Gotham Best Feature nominees, “Get Out” and “Call Me by Your Name,” went on to receive Academy Award Best Picture nominations, while the Oscars also recognized six Gotham acting nominees, four screenplay nominees and one documentary nominee.

Over the 14 years since the Gotham Awards introduced the Best Feature category, the winner has subsequently won the Oscar only four times — but those four have all come in the last decade, including three years in a row with “Birdman” in 2014, “Spotlight” in 2015 and “Moonlight” in 2016. Last year’s winner, “Call Me by Your Name,” ended that streak.

Also Read: Willem Dafoe, Paul Greengrass to Receive Tributes at 2018 IFP Gotham Awards

The nominees:

Best Feature

“The Favourite”
Yorgos Lanthimos, director; Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Yorgos Lanthimos, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

“First Reformed”
Paul Schrader, director; Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Victoria Hill, Gary Hamilton, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, producers (A24)

“If Beale Street Could Talk”
Barry Jenkins, director; Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, Barry Jenkins, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Megan Ellison, producers (Annapurna Pictures)

“Madeline’s Madeline”
Josephine Decker, director; Krista Parris, Elizabeth Rao, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

“The Rider”
Chloé Zhao, director; Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Mollye Asher, Chloé Zhao, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Documentary

“Bisbee ’17”
Robert Greene, producer; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Bennett Elliott, producers (4th Row Films)

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
RaMell Ross, director; RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim, producers (The Cinema Guild)

“Minding the Gap”
Bing Liu, director; Diane Quon, Bing Liu, producers (Hulu & Magnolia Pictures)

“Shirkers”
Sandi Tan, director; Sandi Tan, Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph, producers (Netflix)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Morgan Neville, director; Morgan Neville, Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma, producers (Focus Features)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ari Aster for “Hereditary” (A24)
Bo Burnham for “Eighth Grade” (A24)
Jennifer Fox for “The Tale” (HBO)
Crystal Moselle for “Skate Kitchen” (Magnolia Pictures)
Boots Riley for “Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Screenplay
The Favourite,” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader (A24)
“Private Life,” Tamara Jenkins (Netflix)
“Support the Girls,” Andrew Bujalski (Magnolia Pictures)
“Thoroughbreds,” Cory Finley (Focus Features)

Best Actor
Adam Driver in “BlacKkKlansman” (Focus Features)
Ben Foster in “Leave No Trace” (Bleecker Street)
Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Ethan Hawke in “First Reformed” (A24)
Lakeith Stanfield in “Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Actress*
Glenn Close in “The Wife” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Toni Collette in “Hereditary” (A24)
Kathryn Hahn in “Private Life” (Netflix)
Regina Hall in “Support the Girls” (Magnolia Pictures)
Michelle Pfeiffer in “Where is Kyra?” (Paladin and Great Point Media)

*The 2018 Best Actress nominating committee also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award to Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz for their ensemble performance in “The Favourite.” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor
Yalitza Aparicio in “Roma” (Netflix)
Elsie Fisher in “Eighth Grade” (A24)
Helena Howard in “Madeline’s Madeline” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
KiKi Layne in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures)
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in “Leave No Trace” (Bleecker Street)

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
“Alias Grace,” Sarah Polley, Mary Harron, Noreen Halpern, executive producers (Netflix)

“Big Mouth,” Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin, creators; Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin & Jennifer Flackett, executive producers (Netflix)

“The End of the F***ing World,” Andy Baker, Murray Ferguson, Petra Fried, Ed MacDonald, Dominic Buchanan, Jonathan Entwistle, executive producers (Netflix)

“Killing Eve,” Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, executive producers (BBC America)

“Pose,” Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, creators; Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, Sherry Marsh, executive producers (FX Networks)

“Sharp Objects,” Marti Noxon, creator; Marti Noxon, Jason Blum, Gillian Flynn, Amy Adams, Jean-Marc Vallée, Nathan Ross, Gregg Fienberg, Charles Layton, Marci Wiseman, Jessica Rhoades, executive producers (HBO)

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
“195 Lewis,” Chanelle Aponte Pearson and Rae Leone Allen, creators
“Cleaner Daze,” Tess Sweet and Daniel Gambelin, creators
“Distance,” Alex Dobrenko, creator
“The F Word,” Nicole Opper, creator
“She’s the Ticket,” Nadia Hallgren, creator

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Fox to Produce Oscars Academy’s 2018 Governors Awards

‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

USC, NYU, CalArts and Florida State Win Top Honors at Student Academy Awards

Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Joseph Decker’s “Madeline’s Madeline” and Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider” have been nominated for the top award at the IFP Gotham Awards, the Independent Filmmaker Project announced on Thursday.

In nominations that were evenly distributed among 19 independent movies, “First Reformed” led all films with three nominations – one for the film, one for lead actor Ethan Hawke and one for Schrader’s screenplay about a pastor tortured by the death of his son in Iraq.

“The Favourite,” a twisted period piece set in early 18th century England, received nominations for film and screenplay, as well as a special Gotham Awards voted to its three leading actresses: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

Other films with multiple nominations included “Beale Street,” “Madeline,” “Hereditary,” “Eighth Grade,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “Private Life,” “Support the Girls” and “Leave No Trace.”

In the acting categories, the nominees ranged from such likely Oscar contenders as Glenn Close in “The Wife” and Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” to Toni Collette in “Hereditary,” Kathryn Hahn in “Private Life” and Lakeith Sanfield in Sorry to Bother You.”

Some of the most high profile movies to be nominated – including “Roma,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” – were nominated for acting categories but bypassed in the Best Feature category.

Documentary nominees were “Bisbee ’17,” “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” “Minding the Gap,” “Shirkers” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

In the Gotham Awards’ two television categories, nominations went to “Alias Grace,” “Big Mouth,” “The End of the F***ing World,” “Killing Eve,” “Pose” and “Sharp Objects” in long form TV and “195 Lewis,” “Cleaner Daze,” “Distance,” “The F Word” and “She’s the Ticket” in short form.

The winners will be announced at the 28th annual awards ceremony on Nov. 26 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Previously announced tributes will go to director Paul Greengrass, actors Willem Dafoe and Rachel Weisz, and RadicalMedia chairman Jon Kamen.

The New York-based Gotham Awards are one of the two major honors for independent film, and are presented early in awards season. The other major indie awards show, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, takes place in Los Angeles at the end of the season, the day before the Oscars. Its nominations will be announced on Nov. 16.

Gotham nominees are selected by a number of different juries consisting largely of film critics. Films must meet a variety of fairly nebulous requirements, including being “filmmaking with a point of view” that is “made with an economy of means” and is directed and/or produced by a filmmaker born or based in the United States.

Last year, two of the Gotham Best Feature nominees, “Get Out” and “Call Me by Your Name,” went on to receive Academy Award Best Picture nominations, while the Oscars also recognized six Gotham acting nominees, four screenplay nominees and one documentary nominee.

Over the 14 years since the Gotham Awards introduced the Best Feature category, the winner has subsequently won the Oscar only four times — but those four have all come in the last decade, including three years in a row with “Birdman” in 2014, “Spotlight” in 2015 and “Moonlight” in 2016. Last year’s winner, “Call Me by Your Name,” ended that streak.

The nominees:

Best Feature

“The Favourite”
Yorgos Lanthimos, director; Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Yorgos Lanthimos, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

“First Reformed”
Paul Schrader, director; Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Victoria Hill, Gary Hamilton, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, producers (A24)

“If Beale Street Could Talk”
Barry Jenkins, director; Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, Barry Jenkins, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Megan Ellison, producers (Annapurna Pictures)

“Madeline’s Madeline”
Josephine Decker, director; Krista Parris, Elizabeth Rao, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

“The Rider”
Chloé Zhao, director; Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Mollye Asher, Chloé Zhao, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Documentary

“Bisbee ’17”
Robert Greene, producer; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Bennett Elliott, producers (4th Row Films)

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
RaMell Ross, director; RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim, producers (The Cinema Guild)

“Minding the Gap”
Bing Liu, director; Diane Quon, Bing Liu, producers (Hulu & Magnolia Pictures)

“Shirkers”
Sandi Tan, director; Sandi Tan, Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph, producers (Netflix)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Morgan Neville, director; Morgan Neville, Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma, producers (Focus Features)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ari Aster for “Hereditary” (A24)
Bo Burnham for “Eighth Grade” (A24)
Jennifer Fox for “The Tale” (HBO)
Crystal Moselle for “Skate Kitchen” (Magnolia Pictures)
Boots Riley for “Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Screenplay
The Favourite,” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader (A24)
“Private Life,” Tamara Jenkins (Netflix)
“Support the Girls,” Andrew Bujalski (Magnolia Pictures)
“Thoroughbreds,” Cory Finley (Focus Features)

Best Actor
Adam Driver in “BlacKkKlansman” (Focus Features)
Ben Foster in “Leave No Trace” (Bleecker Street)
Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Ethan Hawke in “First Reformed” (A24)
Lakeith Stanfield in “Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Actress*
Glenn Close in “The Wife” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Toni Collette in “Hereditary” (A24)
Kathryn Hahn in “Private Life” (Netflix)
Regina Hall in “Support the Girls” (Magnolia Pictures)
Michelle Pfeiffer in “Where is Kyra?” (Paladin and Great Point Media)

*The 2018 Best Actress nominating committee also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award to Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz for their ensemble performance in “The Favourite.” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor
Yalitza Aparicio in “Roma” (Netflix)
Elsie Fisher in “Eighth Grade” (A24)
Helena Howard in “Madeline’s Madeline” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
KiKi Layne in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures)
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in “Leave No Trace” (Bleecker Street)

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
“Alias Grace,” Sarah Polley, Mary Harron, Noreen Halpern, executive producers (Netflix)

“Big Mouth,” Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin, creators; Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin & Jennifer Flackett, executive producers (Netflix)

“The End of the F***ing World,” Andy Baker, Murray Ferguson, Petra Fried, Ed MacDonald, Dominic Buchanan, Jonathan Entwistle, executive producers (Netflix)

“Killing Eve,” Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, executive producers (BBC America)

“Pose,” Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, creators; Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, Sherry Marsh, executive producers (FX Networks)

“Sharp Objects,” Marti Noxon, creator; Marti Noxon, Jason Blum, Gillian Flynn, Amy Adams, Jean-Marc Vallée, Nathan Ross, Gregg Fienberg, Charles Layton, Marci Wiseman, Jessica Rhoades, executive producers (HBO)

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
“195 Lewis,” Chanelle Aponte Pearson and Rae Leone Allen, creators
“Cleaner Daze,” Tess Sweet and Daniel Gambelin, creators
“Distance,” Alex Dobrenko, creator
“The F Word,” Nicole Opper, creator
“She’s the Ticket,” Nadia Hallgren, creator

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Fox to Produce Oscars Academy's 2018 Governors Awards

'Free Solo' Leads Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

USC, NYU, CalArts and Florida State Win Top Honors at Student Academy Awards

ReelAbilities Film Festival Attracting Hollywood Attention Ahead Of Los Angeles Debut

EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal, CBS, Walt Disney Studios, 21st Century Fox and SAG-AFTRA are among the latest Hollywood-based groups to sign on to sponsor the ReelAbilities Film Festival: Los Angeles, set for October 11-14 around the city. The festival is ded…

EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal, CBS, Walt Disney Studios, 21st Century Fox and SAG-AFTRA are among the latest Hollywood-based groups to sign on to sponsor the ReelAbilities Film Festival: Los Angeles, set for October 11-14 around the city. The festival is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The event will showcase new and classic films, conversations and artistic programs and kicks…

Marvel’s ‘The Eternals’ Taps ‘The Rider’ Director Chloe Zhao

After earning critical acclaim for her Sundance darling “The Rider,” director Chloe Zhao looks ready to step up to the big leagues as the up and coming director has been set to direct “The Eternals” for Marvel. Matthew and Ryan …

After earning critical acclaim for her Sundance darling “The Rider,” director Chloe Zhao looks ready to step up to the big leagues as the up and coming director has been set to direct “The Eternals” for Marvel. Matthew and Ryan Firpo are on board to pen the script with Marvel president Kevin Feige producing. Created […]

‘The Rider’ Director Chloé Zhao Treats Non-Actors Like Pros: ‘Once Upon a Time, Our Greatest Actors Were Discovered’ – Podcast

Zhao said with her Bass Reeves biopic, she’ll direct a more traditional cast like she did with her first-timers: “You can work with an actor in a certain way, you can create an environment like Terrence Malick has always done.”

Chloé Zhao’s breakout second feature film, “The Rider,” is based on the real life of the film’s star Brady Jandreau – a young rodeo rider who, after suffering a massive brain injury while competing, faces an existential crisis about his place in this world. In the film, Jandreau draws on his life experiences and is surrounded by a cast of his real-life family and friends, but his quiet and introspective character (Brady Blackburn) is the polar opposite of his real-life personality.

“Brady Blackburn is very somber, Brandy Jandreau isn’t – he’s the happy kid trying to make everyone laugh,” said Zhao when she was guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast. “When I first saw him, I didn’t speak to him. I was in the basement and he walked in and I just immediately thought, what a great face and the camera was going to love his face.”

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Not only did Jandreau have a presence, he was incredibly present. In the film, Zhao captures in documentary-like fashion, how Jandreau, a talented horse trainer, is able to convert a bucking, out-of-control animal into a rideable horse. “I thought if you could do that to a horse, that’s wild, maybe you could do it to other people and the audience,” said Zhao. “To have that sharp focus and be able to communicate with [horses] to get their trust is the type of presence [I’m] looking for in professionals and non-professionals [on] set and. Give me those spontaneous moments, because they are completely present and not thinking about a script or anything.”

Zhao’s first feature, “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” also utilized first-time performers – mixed with three established actresses – from the same South Dakota reservation where she met Jandreau, but she insists that too much is made of what is takes to get a big-screen performance from those who have never done it before.

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

“There’s not much difference how I look at actors and non-actors, because [the] way to discover a great actor once upon a time – it use to be someone you meet, ‘Oh, wow, maybe you should act,'” said Zhao. “Now these days a lot of people go to school for it and [so many] people are trying to get into it, but there was a time when some of our greatest actors were discovered, like Brady.”

“The Rider”

Sony Pictures Classics

Zhao has two films in development, one set 3,000 years in the future, and the other a 1800s biopic about Bass Reeves (the first black U.S. marshal) that she hopes to shoot before the end of the year. Neither project obviously allows her to cast her real-life subjects, like she did in her first two films, but even in going through a more traditional casting process, she insists she’ll work with bigger name professionals the way she did with Jandreau.

“You can work with an actor in a certain way, you can create an environment like Terrence Malick has always done, so your actors can give you a very similar thing you get from a non-actors,” said Zhao.

The theatrical release of “The Rider” expands nationally today.

The Filmmaker Toolkit podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, OvercastStitcherSoundCloud and Google Play Music. Previous episodes include:

The music used in this podcast is from the “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” score, courtesy of composer Nathan Halpern.

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‘The Rider’: How Composer Nathan Halpern Captured the Fragile Mental State of a Broken Cowboy – Watch

Composer Nathan Halpern explains how he collaborated with director Chloé Zhao to create a score that balanced the hybrid film’s mix of cinema vérité and a modern western.

Composer Nathan Halpern has scored dozens of the best documentaries of the last four years, including Sundance winner “Rich Hill” and the upcoming Netflix release “Joan Didion: The Center Will not Hold.” Halpern’s latest film, director Chloé Zhao’s “The Rider,” drew upon his experiences working in both nonfiction and narrative films. The Cannes breakout – one of the best reviewed film of 2018 – “The Rider” tells the real-life story of rodeo cowboy Brady Jandreau (the film stars Jandreau and his real-life family and friends) who finds new purpose in his life after suffering a massive brain injury.

IndieWire asked Halpern to take us through his collaboration with Zhao in creating a subtle, but deeply moving score that bridges the film’s mix of cinema vérité and a modern western.

In creating the musical score for “The Rider,” our primary intent was to help bring the audience into the emotional point of view of the film’s protagonist. I spoke extensively with director Chloé Zhao about the nuances of Brady’s physical and emotional experiences, and she guided me through her vision of Brady’s experience in great detail.

Working from this framework of the character’s inner life – itself based in part on Brady’s real-life experiences – we developed a palette of sounds and musical motifs from which to score the film. The film is very sparing in its use of the musical score, an approach that Chloé was quite clear on from the outset. Musical scoring generally occurs only in the more explicitly impressionistic and subjective sequences of the film, in which the cinematography (Joshua James Richards) and editing rhythms (Alex O’ Flinn) are more stylized. So in the beautiful sequence of Brady successfully training his new horse Apollo, the sequence plays out as realist vérité, sans music. It is only in the aftermath of this sequence, as Brady rides off and reflects on what this moment means for his identity and future, that the musical score gradually enters, drawing us into his subjectivity.

"The Rider" Score, Composer Nathan Halpern

“The Rider”

Sony Pictures Classics

I score both scripted narrative and documentary films, and this approach is in fact comparable to what I prefer to do on more vérité-based, character-based documentaries; in such films, I find that it is often most effective to stay out of the observational scenes, music-wise, as much as possible. Ideally, the music enters more in the aftermath of such sequences, if at all. In this way, the music can leave space for a feeling of reality and authenticity, while at the same time help to create a heightened experience that speaks to the deeper emotional themes that lie beneath the story.

First, we needed to create a musical palette that would take us into Brady’s physical and mental state as he recuperates in the aftermath of the injury. Chloé described it as being woozy, what it sounds like from inside a bubble. Consequently, the sonic landscape I created here is very deep in register, with defamiliarized and warped musical sounds — pitched winds (evocative of the natural landscape) and high glassy pads. His injury puts his future and his identity in jeopardy so there is underlying sense of existential despair, which I dialed into musically with low cello harmonics that swell up beneath the more abstract sounds. Take a Listen (Below):

There are also moments in the film of emotional clarity and transcendence. In the clip below, after a period of convalescence, Brady takes out Gus, the family horse – who is about to be sold for rent money – for a ride at dawn. It’s Brady’s first time riding since his injury, and the sequence builds into one of immense visual beauty as he rides.

In beginning of the scene, as Brady approaches the horse, the music eases in with the more abstract tones that we associate with his injured state and associated existential despair. But as he begins to ride, emotive and organic strings begin to enter. As Brady picks up pace and begins to ride with greater confidence, the camera moves into a majestic wide shot. And as the visual language develops into something grander and more expressive so too does the music, which becomes bigger and more explicitly melodic and emotional. The music now dials into the complex emotions that lie beneath – the beauty of his connection with his horse as they ride, the sadness of the horse’s imminent departure, and the underlying uncertainty of what lies ahead for each of them. In this moment, as Brady’s numbness gives way to deep feeling, the more abstract and disjointed sounds fall away, and the warm, emotive strings that were gradually creeping in take on full force and melody.

Coming out of the scoreless moments of cinema vérité, and the subjective moments when the score helps brings the viewer into Brady’s fragile headspace in the aftermath of the injury, sequences such as this one stand in cinematic and musical contrast, as Brady reconnects with his identity as a rider. Following Chloé’s unsentimental approach to the film, and saving our bigger moments of scoring for sequences such as this one, helps us to feel the emotional power of Brady’s dreams – which, even when dashed and imperiled, live on.

“The Rider” is playing in select theaters before going wider on May 18th. You can listen to Halpern’s score for the film on spotify.

‘Ghost Stories’ Leads Subdued Weekend For Limited Releases; Holdover ‘The Rider’ Gallops: Specialty Box Office

UPDATED with more numbers and analysis. New specialty releases had a fairly weak showing overall this weekend despite featuring work from high-profile filmmakers.
Leading the roster of newcomers reporting numbers Sunday was IFC Films thriller Ghost Sto…

UPDATED with more numbers and analysis. New specialty releases had a fairly weak showing overall this weekend despite featuring work from high-profile filmmakers. Leading the roster of newcomers reporting numbers Sunday was IFC Films thriller Ghost Stories, which grossed $12,646 from an exclusive New York showing, giving it a technical win for the weekend’s top per-theater average. Cinema Libre's multi-lingual bio-romance Lou Andreas-Salomé, Audacity To Be Free placed…

‘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…

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

Filmmaker Chloe Zhao vaults into a rarefied atmosphere of filmmaking mastery with her stunning second feature, “The Rider,” a neo-Western about rodeo riding, hobbled masculinity and reflective grace that feels unlike anything else out there.

Its compelling singularity no doubt has something to do with its milieu –Native American bronc and bull specialists on the rodeo circuit who hail from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation — but it primarily derives from Zhao’s filmmaking choice to combine a deeply felt story and a risky-but-rewarding vérité approach. The result is at times heart-stoppingly effective, pulling us so close to some of the movie’s key characters that they begin to feel like family.

We meet Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) by way of the formidable stapling in his shaved head, a physical scar that forecasts the psychological journey ahead. A gifted young Lakota horse trainer, Brady had been an up-and-coming saddle bronc star until a horrible rodeo accident put him briefly in a coma, set him up with a metal plate, and incurred a doctor-ordered end to his riding days.

Watch Video: ‘The Rider’: How Brady Jandreau’s Brush With Death Led Him to Hollywood (Exclusive)

At home he endures watching his dad (Tim Jandreau), with whom he often clashes, sell Brady’s beloved horse Gus to pay debts. Brady also gets loving support from his autistic sister Lilly (Lilly Jandreau) and his rodeo pals. But he’s consumed by uselessness. Brady wants nothing more than to get back to training and riding, because his sense of incompleteness outside his life with horses is starting to feel like the worse injury. It’s a stubbornness doomed to embolden him, but what is he otherwise?

If you noticed that the actors’ last names are the same, it’s because Zhao is essentially telling Brady Jandreau’s story, starring Brady himself. After making her debut feature (“Songs My Brothers Taught Me”) at Pine Ridge, where she had ingratiated herself with the various tribes, Zhao got to know the laconic, horse-whispering Lakota cowboy before his accident, and witnessed his struggles afterward.

When she started putting together a version of Jandreau’s story as a film, Zhao made the decision to have everyone in Brady’s world play themselves. That included fellow professional rider Lane Scott, a rising star confined to a wheelchair after his own terrible accident, and visited onscreen in rehab by Brady. Their touching scenes eschew schmaltz for the more heart-tugging sensation of a lived-in camaraderie readjusted by tragedy.

Also Read: Cannes: ‘The Rider,’ ‘A Ciambra’ Win Top Prizes in Directors’ Fortnight

Directors have used non-professionals since movies began, but what Zhao gets out of her 21-year-old real-life cowboy star — by turns stoically lost, humbled, loving, and defiant — is nothing short of miraculous. Jandreau’s is a true, camera-ready performance, filled with nuance, and it speaks to Zhao’s actor-whispering skills that it burns so brightly at the center of her film. Other movies have utilized non-actors to portray versions of themselves – one immediately thinks of Oscar winners Harold Russell and Haing S. Ngor – but they were intended to be elements in a larger, homogenized creation.

“The Rider” is fully Jandreau’s; it’s impossible to imagine it having the same impact without his committed, enveloping presence. He’s as powerful as any macho western protagonist stripped to the core — the gunfighter disarmed or the pioneer made homeless. That he’s Native American, pale-skinned but proud, only deepens the reconfiguring of this country’s myths that’s another undercurrent in “The Rider.”

See Photos: 17 Highest-Grossing Movies Directed by Women, From ‘Mamma Mia!’ to ‘Wonder Woman’

“The Rider” also may be one of the best movies ever made about people and horses as a transcendent relationship. The documentary-infused scenes of Jandreau training and connecting with horses — the wild and ornery, the broken and fearful — are mesmerizing in their fluidity and intimacy, dramatizing a kind of tough love born of tradition and respect. Jandreau’s adoration of these animals is not only pulsating: it allows the horses to be flesh-and-blood co-stars in Brady’s story, not just four-legged accessories.

It’s all gorgeously photographed, too, by Joshua James Richards (“God’s Own Country”), who understands fully the magnetic power of a silhouetted horizon shot, a haunting landscape, or a close-up in a truck. And more importantly, that they all need to be seamlessly strung-together verses in the same evocative frontier poem.

The densely authentic space between neo-realism and documentary where “The Rider” exists is one of the most beautiful and affecting realms I’ve had the pleasure of visiting recently as a moviegoer. Having seen it twice — the first time unaware of its hybrid approach, the second time fully cognizant that I was watching real people in a form of healing re-enactment — the spell, I realized, was the same: a lyrical sense that life is lived and re-lived, acted out but ever retraced, and that to reclaim ourselves after a fall is perhaps what being human is all about. We live in identity-convulsive times, and I can’t think of a movie more attuned to the question “Who am I?” than this one.

Spiritual and earthy, forged in curiosity yet fortified with empathy, “The Rider” is why we go to the cinema, and it affirms Chloe Zhao as one of the most gifted new movie artists of our time.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood Gender Gap Shocker: Women Directed Just 3 Percent of This Year’s Studio Films (Exclusive)

Film Independent Spirit Awards Gives Out $150,000 in 2018 Filmmaker Grants

‘The Florida Project,’ ‘The Rider’ Nominated for Cinema Eye Honors (Exclusive)

‘Rampage’ Stomps Into Theaters in Need of Big Overseas Launch

Filmmaker Chloe Zhao vaults into a rarefied atmosphere of filmmaking mastery with her stunning second feature, “The Rider,” a neo-Western about rodeo riding, hobbled masculinity and reflective grace that feels unlike anything else out there.

Its compelling singularity no doubt has something to do with its milieu –Native American bronc and bull specialists on the rodeo circuit who hail from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation — but it primarily derives from Zhao’s filmmaking choice to combine a deeply felt story and a risky-but-rewarding vérité approach. The result is at times heart-stoppingly effective, pulling us so close to some of the movie’s key characters that they begin to feel like family.

We meet Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) by way of the formidable stapling in his shaved head, a physical scar that forecasts the psychological journey ahead. A gifted young Lakota horse trainer, Brady had been an up-and-coming saddle bronc star until a horrible rodeo accident put him briefly in a coma, set him up with a metal plate, and incurred a doctor-ordered end to his riding days.

At home he endures watching his dad (Tim Jandreau), with whom he often clashes, sell Brady’s beloved horse Gus to pay debts. Brady also gets loving support from his autistic sister Lilly (Lilly Jandreau) and his rodeo pals. But he’s consumed by uselessness. Brady wants nothing more than to get back to training and riding, because his sense of incompleteness outside his life with horses is starting to feel like the worse injury. It’s a stubbornness doomed to embolden him, but what is he otherwise?

If you noticed that the actors’ last names are the same, it’s because Zhao is essentially telling Brady Jandreau’s story, starring Brady himself. After making her debut feature (“Songs My Brothers Taught Me”) at Pine Ridge, where she had ingratiated herself with the various tribes, Zhao got to know the laconic, horse-whispering Lakota cowboy before his accident, and witnessed his struggles afterward.

When she started putting together a version of Jandreau’s story as a film, Zhao made the decision to have everyone in Brady’s world play themselves. That included fellow professional rider Lane Scott, a rising star confined to a wheelchair after his own terrible accident, and visited onscreen in rehab by Brady. Their touching scenes eschew schmaltz for the more heart-tugging sensation of a lived-in camaraderie readjusted by tragedy.

Directors have used non-professionals since movies began, but what Zhao gets out of her 21-year-old real-life cowboy star — by turns stoically lost, humbled, loving, and defiant — is nothing short of miraculous. Jandreau’s is a true, camera-ready performance, filled with nuance, and it speaks to Zhao’s actor-whispering skills that it burns so brightly at the center of her film. Other movies have utilized non-actors to portray versions of themselves – one immediately thinks of Oscar winners Harold Russell and Haing S. Ngor – but they were intended to be elements in a larger, homogenized creation.

“The Rider” is fully Jandreau’s; it’s impossible to imagine it having the same impact without his committed, enveloping presence. He’s as powerful as any macho western protagonist stripped to the core — the gunfighter disarmed or the pioneer made homeless. That he’s Native American, pale-skinned but proud, only deepens the reconfiguring of this country’s myths that’s another undercurrent in “The Rider.”

“The Rider” also may be one of the best movies ever made about people and horses as a transcendent relationship. The documentary-infused scenes of Jandreau training and connecting with horses — the wild and ornery, the broken and fearful — are mesmerizing in their fluidity and intimacy, dramatizing a kind of tough love born of tradition and respect. Jandreau’s adoration of these animals is not only pulsating: it allows the horses to be flesh-and-blood co-stars in Brady’s story, not just four-legged accessories.

It’s all gorgeously photographed, too, by Joshua James Richards (“God’s Own Country”), who understands fully the magnetic power of a silhouetted horizon shot, a haunting landscape, or a close-up in a truck. And more importantly, that they all need to be seamlessly strung-together verses in the same evocative frontier poem.

The densely authentic space between neo-realism and documentary where “The Rider” exists is one of the most beautiful and affecting realms I’ve had the pleasure of visiting recently as a moviegoer. Having seen it twice — the first time unaware of its hybrid approach, the second time fully cognizant that I was watching real people in a form of healing re-enactment — the spell, I realized, was the same: a lyrical sense that life is lived and re-lived, acted out but ever retraced, and that to reclaim ourselves after a fall is perhaps what being human is all about. We live in identity-convulsive times, and I can’t think of a movie more attuned to the question “Who am I?” than this one.

Spiritual and earthy, forged in curiosity yet fortified with empathy, “The Rider” is why we go to the cinema, and it affirms Chloe Zhao as one of the most gifted new movie artists of our time.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood Gender Gap Shocker: Women Directed Just 3 Percent of This Year's Studio Films (Exclusive)

Film Independent Spirit Awards Gives Out $150,000 in 2018 Filmmaker Grants

'The Florida Project,' 'The Rider' Nominated for Cinema Eye Honors (Exclusive)

'Rampage' Stomps Into Theaters in Need of Big Overseas Launch

‘The Rider’ Trailer: Chloé Zhao’s Cannes Prizewinner Isn’t Her First Rodeo — Watch

The film premiered at Cannes before making its way to Telluride and Sundance.

After impressing audiences at Cannes, Telluride, and Sundance and earning four Independent Spirit Award nominations, “The Rider” is finally making its way to theaters. Chloé Zhao’s drama was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, which has just released the film’s first trailer. Watch it (courtesy of Vulture) below.

Here’s the synopsis: “After a tragic riding accident, young cowboy Brady (Brady Jandreau), once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, is warned that his competition days are over. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.”

Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Cat Clifford, and Lane Scott co-star in the film, Zhao’s second after “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” “The Rider” — which is up for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography at the Spirit Awards — arrives in theaters on April 13.

Chloe Zhao’s ‘The Rider’ Follows A Rodeo Rider On His Real-World Recovery – Sundance Studio

Chloé Zhao was one of Deadline’s Ones To Watch out of the Cannes Film Festival this year, where her sophomore feature, The Rider, premiered. Its journey since then has been remarkable, playing film festivals around the world, including a slot at Toronto, before its Sundance premiere this week. And Zhao stopped by Deadline’s Sundance Studio to share the just-as-remarkable journey her lead actor went on during and after the making of the film.
The Rider stars newcomer Brady…

Chloé Zhao was one of Deadline’s Ones To Watch out of the Cannes Film Festival this year, where her sophomore feature, The Rider, premiered. Its journey since then has been remarkable, playing film festivals around the world, including a slot at Toronto, before its Sundance premiere this week. And Zhao stopped by Deadline’s Sundance Studio to share the just-as-remarkable journey her lead actor went on during and after the making of the film. The Rider stars newcomer Brady…

‘The Florida Project,’ ‘The Rider’ Nominated by Cinema Eye Honors (Exclusive)

Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” Joshua Z. Weinstein’s “Menashe” and Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider” are nominated for the Cinema Eye Honors Heterodox Award, which goes to films that blur the line between narrative fiction and documentary filmmaking.

Guido Hendrikx’s “Stranger in Paradise” and Pawel Lozinski’s “You Have No Idea How Much I Love You” were also nominated for the award. Previous winners include “Boyhood,” “Taxi,” “Beginners,” “All These Sleepless Nights” and “Post Tenebras Lux,” among others.

At the same time, the Cinema Eye Honors, which were established in 2007 to honor all facets of non-fiction filmmaking, announced that its 2018 Cinema Eye Legacy Award will go to Leon Gast’s Oscar-winning 1996 film “When We Were Kings,” a look at the 1974 heavyweight championship boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

Also Read: ‘City of Ghosts,’ ‘Strong Island’ Lead Cinema Eye Honors Nominations

The Legacy Award, which goes to a documentary classic with lasting influence, will be presented at the annual Cinema Eye Honors lunch on Jan. 10 in New York City. “When We Were Kings” will be shown that evening, followed by a Q&A with Gast, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

“At a time when sports, race and political protest are swirling together in the news, it is the perfect moment to honor Leon Gast’s brilliant documentary about one of the greatest figures in sports history, a man unafraid to speak out on race, war or politics, Muhammad Ali,” said filmmaker and Cinema Eye co-chair Marshall Curry.

The Heterodox Award winner will also be announced at the lunch on Jan. 10, with other Cinema Eye Honors winners revealed at an awards ceremony the following night.

Also Read: Sports and Politics Don’t Mix? History Says Otherwise (Photos)

With his Heterodox Award nomination for “The Florida Project,” Sean Baker becomes the first filmmaker to be nominated twice for that award. He was previously nominated for “Tangerine” two years ago.

The Heterodox nominees were selected from a field of 10 semifinalists, which had been chosen by more than two dozen film-festival programmers who specialize in nonfiction film. The final nominees were then chosen by a smaller jury of programmers and journalists.

The rest of the Cinema Eye Honors nominations were previously announced and are available here.

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Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” Joshua Z. Weinstein’s “Menashe” and Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider” are nominated for the Cinema Eye Honors Heterodox Award, which goes to films that blur the line between narrative fiction and documentary filmmaking.

Guido Hendrikx’s “Stranger in Paradise” and Pawel Lozinski’s “You Have No Idea How Much I Love You” were also nominated for the award. Previous winners include “Boyhood,” “Taxi,” “Beginners,” “All These Sleepless Nights” and “Post Tenebras Lux,” among others.

At the same time, the Cinema Eye Honors, which were established in 2007 to honor all facets of non-fiction filmmaking, announced that its 2018 Cinema Eye Legacy Award will go to Leon Gast’s Oscar-winning 1996 film “When We Were Kings,” a look at the 1974 heavyweight championship boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

The Legacy Award, which goes to a documentary classic with lasting influence, will be presented at the annual Cinema Eye Honors lunch on Jan. 10 in New York City. “When We Were Kings” will be shown that evening, followed by a Q&A with Gast, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

“At a time when sports, race and political protest are swirling together in the news, it is the perfect moment to honor Leon Gast’s brilliant documentary about one of the greatest figures in sports history, a man unafraid to speak out on race, war or politics, Muhammad Ali,” said filmmaker and Cinema Eye co-chair Marshall Curry.

The Heterodox Award winner will also be announced at the lunch on Jan. 10, with other Cinema Eye Honors winners revealed at an awards ceremony the following night.

With his Heterodox Award nomination for “The Florida Project,” Sean Baker becomes the first filmmaker to be nominated twice for that award. He was previously nominated for “Tangerine” two years ago.

The Heterodox nominees were selected from a field of 10 semifinalists, which had been chosen by more than two dozen film-festival programmers who specialize in nonfiction film. The final nominees were then chosen by a smaller jury of programmers and journalists.

The rest of the Cinema Eye Honors nominations were previously announced and are available here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

170 Films Enter Oscars Documentary Category, Setting New Record

'Jane' Wins Top Prize at Critics' Choice Documentary Awards

'Hunting Ground' Filmmakers to Make Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary