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||$3.4 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 3.4 million dollars, making it a small success. The film was critically praised for its story, performances, and its depiction of the people and events that influenced the film.
Brady lives in poverty with his father Wayne and his younger sister Lilly, who has autism. The people here, including Brady and his family, are Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Once a rising star in the rodeo circuit, Brady suffered brain damage from an accident at a bronc riding competition, hindering motor functions in his right hand and leaving him prone to seizures. Doctors have told him he can no longer ride, or else his seizures will get worse.
Brady regularly visits his friend Lane, who lives in a care facility after suffering severe brain damage from a similar bullriding accident. Meanwhile, his dad does little to take care of the family, wasting their money away on drinking and gambling. To help keep their trailer, he sells away their horse, Gus, much to Brady's infuriation. Brady, in return, gets a job as a store clerk to help try to raise money for the family.
He also makes a small living breaking in horses. With his savings, he wants to buy a new horse but his father buys it for him and he forms a very strong bond with the horse, like he had with Gus in the past. However, his constant horse riding and refusal to rest with his brain injury cause him to have a near-fatal seizure. Doctors warn him that if he does not quit riding, he could die. Upon returning home, Brady finds that his horse attempted to escape the fence, permanently injuring one of its legs. 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 breaks out with his father, Brady decides to compete in a rodeo competition despite the doctor's warnings. At the competition, before he is about to go next, he spots his father and sister watching him. He finally decides to walk away from the competition and, presumably, his 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
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 151 reviews, and an average rating of 8.4/10. 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
- 7th – 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|
- "The Rider (2018)". The Numbers. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- "Fortnight 2017: The 49th Directors' Fortnight Selection". Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Keslassy, Elsa (April 19, 2016). "Cannes: Juliette Binoche-Gerard Depardieu Drama to Kick Off Directors Fortnight". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Hopewell, John (May 26, 2017). "Cannes: Chloe Zhao's 'The Rider' Tops Cannes' Directors' Fortnight". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Cheshire, Godfrey. "The Rider movie review". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- Setoodeh, Ramin (May 23, 2017). "Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Cowboy Drama 'The Rider' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "The Rider (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- "The Rider Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- Cheshire, Godfrey (April 13, 2018). "The Rider". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- "Best of 2018: Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 21, 2017). "Spirit Award Nominations: 'Call Me By Your Name', 'Lady Bird', 'Get Out', 'The Rider', 'Florida Project' Best Pics". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
- 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.