A wayward teen hits the road in a last-gasp search for hope in Andrew Haigh’s finely crafted odyssey.
Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer - no relation) is a miserable 15year old who was long ago abandoned by his mother and sentenced to a lonely life with his impoverished, promiscuous father. One summer day, Charley runs into Del, a haggard, but seemingly kind, washed-up old horse trainer/trader (Steve Buscemi). Charley decides to accept Del’s offer of low-paid work tending horses. One is a rapidly deteriorating old race horse named Lean on Pete. When he learns that Pete’s own fate hangs in the balance, Charley takes the horse and goes on the run, hoping to find his Aunt, seeking out the one speck of family light from a childhood of darkness.
Delicately shot, acted and scripted, Lean On Pete is filmmaking at its subtlest. Strains of James Edward Barker's stunning score interlude the quiet moments, but the real drama is left to the characters, a talent that Haigh masterfully demonstrated in his last film, the brilliant 45 Years. Lean on Pete is a wonderfully played, moving piece of cinema. (research Chris Coetsee) If you see only one film in June, this is it.