The Rider is a beautiful movie, full of life and inspiration. Oh my, what a ride.
The Rider is a fact-based tale that’s executed perfectly through the hands of writer-director Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me). Ms. Zhao is one of many women leading in the director’s chair this year. The film stars a South Dakota cowboy and now breakout actor Brady Jandreau as a once rising star of the rodeo circuit warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Zhao based the scripted around Jandreau’s real life head injury from a bullriding competition. The story follows Brady’s day-to-day life after the accident along with his father Tim (Tim Jandreau) and younger sister Lilly (Lilly Jandreau), who has autism. His family also lives in financial poverty on the back plains of South Dakota.
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. Brady has to search for his new identity as a means to keep on living. This is a film that deserves to be seen. Through grit and grace, we see Brady’s character evolve throughout the film. A grand character study on the forgotten people in the heartland of America. Ms. Zhao’s committed craft on the film’s narrative blossom’s throughout. She knows how to take risks, just like Brady. As we, the audience, sit there in theaters socially observant, we witness a young man constantly being knocked down and getting right back up. Brady’s sense of struggle is raw and powerful. The Rider is a slice-of-life drama that’s making a name for itself in 2018. The docu-style realism is a sense of wonder, as we watch this majestic beast of a film gallop through the grasslands.
The visuals, along with the vivid scenery are a feast for your eyes. I also had the privilege of watching this masterpiece in Billings, MT. It seemed like a fitting movie, given my location. My hopes are that, someday, The Rider will go down as a classic, modern-day Western. Ms. Zhao’s heartbreaking beauty is one of the best films of the year. The film receives all 5 stars from me. As Brady and his horse pass through the grasslands, we are struck with awe. It's a cinematic experience you don’t want to miss. This heavy-handed cowboy movie is one for the ages. And if you’re ever in Billings, MT. I highly recommend stopping by the Art House Cinema & Pub. It’s a non-profit, independent movie theater located in the heart of downtown Billings. You can enjoy a cold beer and some delicious popcorn at the bar right next to the big screen. You won’t be disappointed. It was a marvelous experience.
The Rider is rated R (Restricted). For language and drug use. – Oh, MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) you'll never learn ...