Lean on Pete
|Lean on Pete|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrew Haigh|
|Produced by||Tristan Goligher|
|Screenplay by||Andrew Haigh|
|Based on||Lean on Pete|
by Willy Vlautin
|Music by||James Edward Barker|
|Edited by||Jonathan Alberts|
|Box office||$2.5 million|
Lean on Pete is a 2017 British drama film written and directed by Andrew Haigh, based on the novel of the same name by Willy Vlautin. It stars Charlie Plummer, Chloë Sevigny, Travis Fimmel and Steve Buscemi, and follows a 15-year-old boy who begins to work at a stable and befriends an ailing racehorse.
It was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress by Charlie Plummer. It was released in the United States on 6 April 2018, by A24, before opening in the United Kingdom on 4 May 2018, by Curzon Artificial Eye.
Charley, a 15-year-old living with his single father, finds casual work caring for an aging racehorse named Lean On Pete. When his father dies, making him likely to go into care, and he learns Pete is bound for slaughter, Charley and the racehorse embark on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a long lost aunt.
- Charlie Plummer as Charley Thompson, Ray’s son
- Travis Fimmel as Ray Thompson, Charley’s father
- Chloë Sevigny as Bonnie, a jockey
- Steve Buscemi as Del Montgomery, a horse trainer
- Steve Zahn as Silver
- Amy Seimetz as Lynn, Ray’s love interest
- Alison Elliott as Aunt Margy
- Justin Rain as Mike
- Lewis Pullman as Dallas
- Frank Gallegos as Santiago
- Julia Prud'homme as Ruby
- Kurt Conroyd as Nurse
- Bob Olin as Mr. Kendall
- Teyah Hartley as Laurie
- Rachael Perrell Fosket as Martha
- Jason Rouse as Mitch
In May 2015, it was announced Andrew Haigh would write and direct the film, based upon the novel of the same name with Tristan Goligher to produce the film under his The Bureau banner, alongside Film4 Productions. In July 2016, Steve Buscemi joined the cast of the film. That same month, Charlie Plummer, Chloë Sevigny, and Travis Fimmel joined the cast of the film. In September 2016, Steve Zahn, Amy Seimetz and Thomas Mann joined the cast of the film.
Principal photography began on 13 August 2016, and took place in Portland and Burns, Oregon. Filming concluded on 10 September 2016. Among the locations was Portland Meadows racetrack, named Portland Downs in the film.
In May 2016, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired U.S and U.K distribution rights, respectively. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 1 September 2017. It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2017 and the BFI London Film Festival on 5 October 2017.
The film was initially scheduled to be released in the United States on 30 March 2018, however it was pushed back a week to 6 April, and was released in the United Kingdom on 4 May 2018.
As of June 2020[update], the film holds a 91% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 185 reviews with an average rating of 7.88 out of 10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Lean on Pete avoids mawkish melodrama, offering an empathetic yet clear-eyed portrayal of a young man at a crossroads that confirms Charlie Plummer as a major talent." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com gave the film 3 1/2 stars, saying "I marveled at the humanist depth of the world Haigh creates, one that can only be rendered by a truly great writer and director, working near the top of his game." Austin Dale of INTO named the film the best of 2018 while grieving its modest box office returns, calling it "both the most American film of the year and the year’s toughest sell."
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