The Horse Whisperer (1998) / Drama
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for a disturbing accident scene
Running Time: 170 min.
Cast: Robert Redford, Kristen Scott Thomas, Sam Neill, Dianne Wiest, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Robert Redford
Screenplay: Eric Roth, Richard LaGravenese (based on the novel by Nick Evans)
Review published November 15, 1998
A couple of teens in upstate New York go horseback riding in the snow one day, when disaster strikes in the form of a semi and kills one of the girls and severely wounds the other, including the horse. The girl's leg is amputated and the horse is as good as dead, but the mother holds out hope for the horse since it was her daughter's, even though the horse is now crazy to the point of being dangerous. The daughter takes her disability hard and the mother has trouble communicating with her so comes to the conclusion that the only way to heal her daughter's psychological wounds would be to heal the horse. She sets out to Montana with the girl and the horse to find someone known as a "horse whisperer", to see if the horse can be rehabilitated. He reluctantly takes the job, and in the course of rehabilitating the horse, he tries to help the girl and mother in the process.
The film is close to three hours long, and some may find the pace of the film to be excruciatingly slow and not stick with it. The film takes it's time in relating the story, but patience will reward those who stick it out with a touching and compelling tale of healing and overcoming anything that ails you. Redford does a wonderful job, not only as actor, but also as director and producer as well, in this adaptation of Nicholas Evans' best-seller of the same name. The cinematography is breathtaking, and you won't mind the film being slow after a while and just sit there admiring all of the relaxing scenery.
©1998 Vince Leo