Rating: PG Cast: Toni Collette, Owen Teale, Damian Lewis, Alan David and Lynda Baron. Directed by Euros Lyn Written by Neil McKay Length: 113mins
Dream Horse is based on a true story of Jan Vokes, a woman from the Welsh Valley’s who organised a community syndicate to buy a racehorse. Toni Collette stars as our leading lady and brings a warmth and determination to the character who managed to rally the locals to chip in a weekly £10 sub to save up to breed a prize mare; who they name Dream Alliance.
Jan is a woman working two jobs just to make ends meet who becomes interested in raising a racehorse which could be both financially fruitful and fill a hole in her somewhat monotonous life. After buying a brood mare, the foal is born and the audience get to happily sit back and watch a series of nice moments. What follows is a predictable round of victories (the racing scenes are well done, including the high level of risk in the jumps) and mini defeats. The story is often delivered in dialogue which isn’t a surprise with the run time.
This story was always going to be made into a film. Dream Horse fits nicely into a typical, contemporary ‘Brit Flick’ category. It demonstrates small town community spirit, is very predictable and inevitably has a happy ending. Alongside Collette, Owen Teale plays her husband and Damian Lewis plays Howard Davies, a local tax accountant who’s passion for horse racing has created tension in his home life. This isn’t a particularly in depth story, it’s not going to challenge or provoke thought but it’s a really lovely, heartwarming watch.
While there is nothing particularly remarkable or surprising about this movie, you can’t help but like it. Toni Collette and Damian Lewis give really solid, believable performances which must have been a nice change for the pair who recently have taken on much more gritty roles. I also thoroughly enjoyed the little sing song at the end where we see the actors singing ‘Delilah’ with their real life counterparts. Dream Horse is a bit of fun, and a good way to spend an afternoon, however, if you don’t get around to watching it you’ve not missed anything life changing.