Movie Review: Dream Horse

Once again, the best movies are always based on true stories. The new movie “Dream Horse” starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis is based on true story about the horse “Dream Alliance”, who was purchased by a group of ordinary people who lived in Wales some 20 years ago. Trained from birth by an alliance led by Jan Vokes (played by Collette) Dream Alliance eventually became a miracle horse. The movie Dream Horse is not quite at the level of two other great horse movies “Secretariat”, released in 2010 and Seabiscuit, released in 2003 – but it is still a very good horse movie.

What is good about this film is how it shows the ups and downs of the business of horse racing, always a very risky financial endeavor. In the country of Wales – the location of this story – horse racing is all about horses racing but also leaping over hurdles. In just about every race shown in this movie, a horse falls after jumping over a hurdle. My question was, why race horses like this, when the odds of injury and even death are so much higher than for normal horse racing? What does it prove to have a horse race with hurdles, rather than just a straight up race with no hurdles – especially considering the risk to the horses. The cost of the insurance of each horse is also much higher for the owners considering the dangers of jumping over so many dangerous obstacles. Considering the purchasing of the horse, paying the trainers and handlers in horse racing, turning a profit must be a very precarious business at best.

I thought the acting in this movie for both Collette and Lewis was very strong, with Jan Vokes, played by Collette an ordinary person working as a cashier with a very boring and depressing job, and Howard Davies, played by Damian Lewis, as down on his luck tax accountant. Just about everybody can relate to these two characters who are living average lives, but dream of so much more. I thought this aspect of the story, works the best in this film.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Dream Horse are a very high 89%, and I both agree with this rating and recommend this movie.