Not since a teenage Elizabeth Taylor rode her steed to victory in National Velvet has a movie a few child and a horse confirmed such an efficient tearjerker as Christian Duguay’s French drama a few younger lady who doesn’t let a horrible accident stop her from pursuing her dream of changing into a jockey. The movie might really feel predictable at instances in its plot machinations, however it nonetheless exerts a strong emotional pull that ought to make it a crowd-pleaser upon its theatrical launch subsequent month in its native nation. Ride Above just lately obtained its U.S. premiere because the centerpiece movie of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
The story begins in 2001, when Zoe is born in a racehorse secure owned by her mother and father similtaneously a horse named Beautiful Intrigue. Zoe and Beautiful Intrigue develop up collectively, with the teenage lady’s (Carmen Kassovitz, daughter of French actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz) innate love of horses inspired by her supportive mother and father (Mélanie Laurent, Pio Marmai). When Beautiful Intrigue later offers start to a foal, Zoe names him Tempete and begins to groom him for racing, satisfied that he’s a future champion.
The Bottom Line
Triumphantly crosses the end line.
Tragedy strikes when Zoe is unintentionally run over by Beautiful Intrigue when the horse will get spooked by a torrential thunderstorm. Confined to a wheelchair because of this, Zoe turns into bitterly depressed, shifting right into a shack particularly rigged to compensate for her handicap. The stables’ autistic worker Seb (Kacey Mottet Klein, admirably delicate), who has a particular manner with horses, makes an attempt to attract her out of her shell, as does a bodily therapist (Hugo Becker) newly employed by her mother and father to work together with her. But Zoe principally proves proof against their entreaties till she discovers that she will be able to strengthen her muscle tissue by swimming, which inspires her to as soon as once more try and get again within the saddle.
Under Seb’s steering, Zoe practices driving Tempete late at evening, initially with out her mother and father realizing. They ultimately get clever and, regardless of extreme misgivings, conform to let her secretly substitute for the scheduled jockey of a horse owned by a rich couple (Danny Huston, talking French impressively in a nifty bilingual efficiency, and French display screen veteran Carole Bouquet) in an upcoming big-stakes race. Set throughout a blinding snowstorm, the climactic sequence delivers the requisite suspense and emotion in high-level doses.
Director Duguay (The Art of War, The Assignment), working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Lilou Foglie and Christophe Donner (writer of the novel on which the movie is predicated), manages to expertly pull heartstrings with out lapsing into extreme sentimentality. The equestrian sequences are superbly staged and edited, and whereas the movie fortunately avoids anthropomorphizing in its depiction of the connection between Zoe and her horse, mother and father ought to be suggested to have solutions prepared when their younger kids request their very own ponies after seeing the movie.
Ride Above by no means feels overly manipulative or hokey, because of its advanced characterizations, refined dialogue and very good performances by its ensemble. Kassovitz delivers a heartbreaking flip within the central position with out resorting to maudlin makes an attempt to achieve our sympathy, whereas Laurent offers a vivid portrait of maternal fierceness because the mom who refuses to let her daughter give up. Marmai is equally good because the loving father, whereas Mottet-Klein and Becker make vivid impressions of their supporting roles.
Venue: Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Production firms: Nolita Cinema, Pathe, TF1 Studio, France 2 Cinema, Pictanovo
Cast: Melanie Laurent, Pio Marmai, Carmen Kassovitz, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Carole Bouquet, Danny Huston
Director: Christian Duguay
Screenwriters: Christian Duguay, Christophe Donner, Lilou Fogli
Producers: Maxime Delauney, Romain Rousseau
Director of pictures: Christophe Graillot
Production designer: Frederique Doublet, Frederi Grandclere
Editors: Maxime Lahaie, Sylvain Lebel
Costume designer: Alice Cambournac
1 hour 58 minutes