The Rider (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chloé Zhao|
|Written by||Chloé Zhao|
|Music by||Nathan Halpern|
|Cinematography||Joshua James Richards|
|Edited by||Alex O'Flinn|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Box office||$4.2 million|
The Rider is a 2017 American contemporary western drama film written, produced and directed by Chloé Zhao. The film stars Brady Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lane Scott, and Cat Clifford and was shot in the badlands of South Dakota. It premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017, where it won the Art Cinema Award. It was released in theaters in the United States on April 13, 2018. It grossed $4.2 million dollars, making it a small commercial success. The film was critically praised for its story, performances, and its depiction of the people and events that influenced the film.
All of the characters are Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Brady lives in poverty with his father Wayne and his teenage sister, Lilly, who has autism. Once a rising rodeo star, Brady suffered brain damage from a rodeo accident, weakening his right hand and leaving him prone to seizures. Doctors have told him that riding will make them worse.
Brady regularly visits his friend, Lane, who lives in a care facility after suffering brain damage from a similar accident. Brady's father does little for the family, spending their income on drinking and gambling. To fund their trailer, he sells their horse, Gus, infuriating Brady.
Brady takes a job in a store to raise money for the family. He also makes some money breaking in horses. With his savings, he intends to buy another horse but his father buys one for him and he bonds with it, as he had with Gus. However, his riding and refusal to rest cause him to have a near-fatal seizure. Doctors warn him that more riding could be fatal. Upon returning home, Brady finds that his horse attempted to escape, permanently injuring a leg. Knowing that the horse will never be able to be ridden ever again, he has to ask his father to put him down, after not being able to bring himself to do it.
After an argument with his father, Brady decides to take part in a rodeo competition, despite the doctors' warnings. At the competition, just before he competes, he sees his family watching him. He finally decides to walk away from the competition and life as a rodeo rider.
- Brady Jandreau as Brady Blackburn
- Tim Jandreau as Wayne Blackburn
- Lilly Jandreau as Lilly Blackburn
- Cat Clifford as Cat Clifford
- Terri Dawn Pourier as Terri Dawn Pourier
- Lane Scott as Lane Scott
- Tanner Langdeau as Tanner Langdeau
- James Calhoon as James Calhoon
The Rider grossed $2.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $1.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $3.5 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 182 reviews, and an average rating of 8.44/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Rider's hard-hitting drama is only made more effective through writer-director Chloé Zhao's use of untrained actors to tell the movie's fact-based tale." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 92 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Godfrey Cheshire of RogerEbert.com gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, writing that its "style, its sense of light and landscape and mood, simultaneously give it the mesmerizing force of the most confident cinematic poetry."
Top ten lists
The Rider was listed on numerous critics' top ten lists for 2018.
- 1st – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
- 1st – Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed
- 1st – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
- 1st – Peter Debruge, Variety
- 2nd – Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com
- 3rd – Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter
- 3rd – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
- 3rd – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
- 4th – David Edelstein, New York Magazine
- 4th – Nick Schager, Esquire
- 5th – Matt Singer, ScreenCrush
- 6th – Seongyong Cho & Sheila O'Malley, RogerEbert.com
- 6th – Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine
- 6th – Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast
- 7th – Jake Coyle, Associated Press
- 7th – David Fear, Rolling Stone
- 7th – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
- 7th – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
- 7th – Nicholas Barber, BBC
- 8th – Donald Clarke & Tara Brady, The Irish Times
- 8th – Scott Tobias, Filmspotting
- 9th – Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
- 10th – Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
- 10th – Sara Stewart, New York Post
- Top 10 (listed alphabetically) – Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
- Top 10 (listed alphabetically) – Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
- Top 10 (listed alphabetically) – James Verniere, Boston Herald
- Best of 2018 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Gary M. Kramer, Salon.com
- Best of 2018 (listed alphabetically, not ranked), NPR
- Best of 2018 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Film Independent Spirit Awards||March 3, 2018||Best Feature||Mollye Asher, Sacha Ben Harroche, Bert Hamelinck and Chloé Zhao||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Chloé Zhao||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Alex O'Flinn||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Joshua James Richards||Nominated|
|Gotham Independent Film Award||November 26, 2018||Best Feature||The Rider||Won|||
|Audience Award||The Rider||Nominated|
|British Independent Film Awards||December 8, 2018||Best Foreign Independent Film||Chloé Zhao, Mollye Asher, Sacha Ben Harroche and Bert Hamelinck||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review||January 8, 2019||Top Ten Independent Films||The Rider||Won|||
|National Society of Film Critics||January 5, 2019||Best Picture||The Rider||Won|||
|Best Director||Chloe Zhao||Nominated|
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- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (November 26, 2018). "Gotham Awards: A24 Sweeps With Five Wins, Including 'First Reformed,' 'Eighth Grade' (Full Winners List)". Variety. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- Mandinach, Zach (October 18, 2018). "Nominations Announced for the 28th Annual IFP Gotham Awards". Independent Filmmaker Project. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- Brown, Mark (October 31, 2018). "The Favourite dominates British independent film award nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- Lewis, Hilary (November 27, 2018). "'Green Book' Named Best Film by National Board of Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 5, 2019). "National Society Of Film Critics Names Chloe Zhao's 'The Rider' As Best Picture". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 6, 2019.