Dark Horse (2011 film)

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Dark Horse
Dark Horse (2011 film) poster.jpeg
Directed by Todd Solondz
Produced by Ted Hope
Derrick Tseng
Screenplay by Todd Solondz
Starring Jordan Gelber
Selma Blair
Christopher Walken
Mia Farrow
Cinematography Andrij Parekh
Edited by Kevin Messman
Goldcrest Films
Double Hope Films
Vitagraph Films
Mount Pleasant Pictures
Distributed by Brainstorm Media
Axiom Films (UK and Ireland)
Release dates
  • September 2011 (2011-09) (Venice)
Running time
84 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $166,228[3]

Dark Horse is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Todd Solondz. It was released June 8, 2012.[4]


Abe (Jordan Gelber) is a man in his thirties who suffers from arrested development. He works for his father (Christopher Walken), collects toys for a hobby, and lives with his parents. Aware his family doesn't think much of him, Abe tries to spark a relationship with Miranda (Selma Blair), who recently moved back home after a failed literary/academic career and a divorce. Miranda agrees to marry Abe out of desperation and, almost immediately, the ex-boyfriend that she pines after returns, muddying the waters with Abe. During the course of events, Miranda says she has hepatitis B, and may have already put Abe at risk for catching it. Later comes the possibility that she is pregnant, and then that she is not. The film wavers between depicting scenes of fantasy and reality, particularly in the two scenes that culminate the film, such that the viewer isn't always sure whether the action is real or imagined. The final shot suggests uncertainty even regarding which character's perspective was represented throughout the film, or at various parts of it.



In an August 2010 interview, Solondz reported that he had finished the script for the project,[5] but he had been reluctant to share any details in press reports.[6] Shooting began in New York in October 2010.[7]

The film was shown at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in September 2011,[1] as well as the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival the same month.[2]

The film opened the ninth IndieLisboa Film Festival on 26 April 2012.

The film was the Closing Night title for Maryland Film Festival 2012 on the evening of May 6, 2012, with Todd Solondz and Jordan Gelber presenting.

Critical reception[edit]

Dark Horse received positive reviews; as of December 19, 2012, it held a 73% "fresh" rating on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes; the consensus states "Typically misanthropic yet curiously satisfying and incisive, Dark Horse is a movie that preaches to the cynical converted."[8] Later, TIME film critic Richard Corliss placed the film in his list of "Top 10 Movies of 2012".[9]

The AV Club's Alison Wilson placed it at No. 10 on her annual best of list for 2012.


  1. ^ a b (5 June 2011). Polanski, Cronenberg, Winterbottom early selections for Venice Film Festival, The Independent
  2. ^ a b Davis, Edward (26 July 2011). First Look: Christopher Walken, Selma Blair & Mia Farrow In Todd Solondz’s ‘Dark Horse’, indieWire
  3. ^ "Dark Horse". Box Office Mojo. 
  4. ^ (21 February 2011). Our Most-Anticipated Films of 2011, The Film Stage
  5. ^ King, Loren (1 August 2010). Solondz offers a different view of ‘Life’, Boston Globe
  6. ^ (16 July 2010). Solondz Nurtures His Indie Cred, The New York Times ("Mr. Solondz is set to start shooting a film after Labor Day called “Dark Horse.” (He was mum about details.) “Knock wood,” he said, “that it doesn’t fall apart.”")
  7. ^ Tezer, Adnan (20 October 2010). Christopher Walken joins new Solondz film, Monsters and Critics
  8. ^ Dark Horse at Rotten Tomatoes
  9. ^ "Top 10 Movies of 2012". TIME. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]