Writer: Andrew Haigh (Screenplay) Willy Vlautin (Novel)
Starring: Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Travis Fimmel, Amy Seimetz, Steve Zahn
Plot: A teenager gets a summer job working for a horse trainer and befriends the fading racehorse, Lean on Pete.
Tagline – You Can’t Get Anywhere On Your Own
Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Beautiful Coming of Age Film
Story: Lean on Pete starts when teenager Charley (Plummer) fascinated by horses gets offered a job by horse trainer Del (Buscemi) he jumps at the opportunity, it does mean he leaves his father Ray (Fimmel) from day to day. The horse they are training is named ‘Lean on Pete’ he isn’t the fastest and is being over worked.
When Charley suffers his own personal loss, he sees that Pete is going to be sold and decides to take him, going on the run with the race horse in search of the only family he knows he has.
Thoughts on Lean on Pete
Characters – Charley is a 15-year-old, who lives with his father as they struggle to make ends meet, he is fascinated by horses and wants to work with them which sees him running past the track on a daily basis. Offered a job he looks to learn the ropes becoming attached to race horse Lean on Pete. With his father injured, he sees his only friend in Pete and when the trainer wants to sell him, Charley goes on the run, giving him an adventure he could never have imagined. Del is the horse trainer, he has been doing it for years now and is getting tired of the process, he will sell any race horse that doesn’t make him money and does offer Charley the chance to work for him. Bonnie is a jockey that has worked with Del in the past, she tries to teach Charley not to become attached to Pete, only to need to focus on her own future. Ray is Charley’s father that works a basic job just to put food on the table, he gets himself in trouble which leads to him get seriously hurt, forcing Charley into working more.
Performances – Charlie Plummer in the leading role is fantastic, the story focuses on his story, his problems and Charlie makes us feel each emotion that he goes through. Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny and Travis Fimmel are all wonderful in the supporting roles with each letting Charlie take the spotlight he needs to have.
Story – The story follows Charley, a teenager who comes from a broken home, doesn’t have much of a future and just wants to work with horses, he gets the chance only to make a big decision to steal an aging race horse as he goes in search for his family on the other side of the country. He must learn to grow up fast and that connections are not as long lasting as they should be. For a story about the troubles a teenager must face, this is one of the best, because it shows just how far one will go in search for family after losing everything. we see the bond between man and horse and just how difficult the moment you will face when you need to be alone in the world. the journey across country is good but if you don’t know the size of America you still struggle to understand just how far the journey is.
Adventure – The adventure shows just how far Charley must travel with a horse in search of family, this is a cross-country journey for Charley in hope of finding someone that might not be there.
Settings – The settings show us the openness that America can hold because of the journey that Charley goes on, the harsh reality of the open road.
Scene of the Movie – Stealing Pete.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – The lack of urgency any of the authorities treat Charley’s situation, making it easy to run.
Final Thoughts – This is a wonderful coming of age adventure film, it shows one teenager who has lost everything going in search for anybody that could be part of his life with a horse along for the ride. It will tug on the heartstring and you will feel for Charley every step of the way.
Overall: Heartfelt and powerful coming of age movie.