- Director: Andrew Haigh
- Writer: Andrew Haigh
- Producer: Darren M. Demetre; Tristan Goligher
It's really difficult to imagine...Andrew Haigh has gone from the excruciating Greek Pete to the almost-Disney [minus the expletives] family drama, Lean on Pete, in a matter of 8 years. Once a filmmaker with something to say...now, it would seem, he has lost his voice.
Lean on Pete is not a bad film...it's just a silly film, presented in a [bog-standard] three act structure...boy meets horse, boy runs away with horse, boy loses horse...with the big names being cast aside after Act 1!
Thankfully, Charlie Plummer [as Charley] is so likeable, he single-handedly saves the film...with his gentility and grace, surprising qualites obviously not gleaned from his redneck father. Surely nothing bad can happen to this saddened, system-failed, fine young man?!? Ooooh...the potential to manipulate the audience was there...but, sadly, squandered. There is only one scene that will make you gasp...all the others range from the downright silly to the twee.
It's a family film...with expletives! Ooops.
The film follows fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson. He wants a home, food on the table and a high school he can attend for more than part of the year. As the son of a single father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, stability is hard to find. Hoping for a new start they move to Portland, Oregon where Charley takes a summer job, with a washed-up horse trainer, and befriends a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete.