Review: The Horse Whisperer

USA, Robert Redford (1998)

: The Horse WhispererPro: Gorgeouse scenery. A cinematographer’s dream. Almost worth watching just to take a 169 minute trip to Montana.
Con: The movie is 169 minutes long.

Pro: An interesting premise. A girl (Scarlett Johansson) and her horse are involved in a tragic riding accident that leaves them both physically and emotionally wounded. They find healing together on a Montana horse ranch run by a man (Robert Redford) with a special equine rapport.
Con: The lead weight love story. With zero chemistry between them, Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas, as the girl’s mother, embark on the obligatory romance that adds nothing to the story and only serves to derail the emotional core of the film each time they’re on screen together.

Pro: Chris Cooper, Sam Neill, Cherry Jones and Dianne Wiest co-star.
Con: Chris Cooper, Sam Neill, Cherry Jones and Dianne Wiest cumulatively have about 20 minutes screen time.

Pro: Chris Cooper as ranch hand.
Con: Robert Redford as Marlboro Man.

I know that it was based on a best-selling book, but I think The Horse Whisperer would have made for a better film if they’d ditched the love story, cast Chris Cooper as the “horse whisperer,” and focused more on the girl, the horse and the man with an intuition and compassion who brings the two back together as a stronger one. [***]

2 thoughts on “Review: The Horse Whisperer

  1. Enjoyed your review and agree. Have seen it 3 times (Montana) and the last 2 viewings it was fun to pick out the flawed editing in use of different horses and stand-ins for Redford. Pretty sloppy filming if I can pick it out!

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