Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story

on October 21, 2005 by Kevin Courrier
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The directorial debut of screenwriter John Gatins ("Varsity Blues," "Coach Carter") is a pleasantly diverting family drama. Gatins fashions a heartwarming story about a young girl and a racehorse that is predictable, yet surprisingly free from overt sentimentality. "Dreamer" rides in the shadow of inspirational fare as "Seabiscuit," but it gradually discovers its own distinct path.

Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) and his wife Lily (Elizabeth Shue) are growing distant due to the failing fortunes of their horse farm. Their daughter Cale (Dakota Fanning) pines for the attention of her father. She stakes her hopes on Sofiador, an injured racehorse who is nursed back to health in one of their empty barns. Discovering that she has as much horse sense as her father, Cale sets out to restore both the horse and her family to their former glory. "Dreamer" does hoe some pretty familiar turf, but thankfully it doesn't husk too much corn. Starring Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Shue, Luis Guzman, David Morse and Freddy Rodriguez. Directed and written by John Gatins. Produced by Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. A Dreamworks release. Drama. Rated PG for brief mild language. Running time: 98 min

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