THE RIDER

USA, 2017 (MIFF 2018, North America,International)

Director: Chloé Zhao

"A poetic tribute to America’s heartland and one of the year’s best films, Chloé Zhao’s tender portrait of an injured rodeo rider is a visually arresting movie you won’t soon forget." – Daily Beast

South Dakota Bronco rider Brady’s promising career was cut short with a kick to the head from a horse. Now he’s grappling with his post-rodeo identity and sense of masculinity, and seeking solace from friend and former mentor Lane, whose own fall from a bucking bull left him quadriplegic and unable to speak. Working at the supermarket by day and drinking by night, Brady’s struggles with what it means to be a man in this milieu are given additional weight by his alcoholic, gambling father and 15-year-old sister Lilly, who is on the spectrum.

The top award winner from Cannes 2017’s Directors’ Fortnight and a hit at festivals including Toronto and Sundance, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider stars real-life rodeo cowboy Brady Jandreau – who, yes, is dealing with a similar injury as his semi-fictional character – and his real-life family and friends. In drawing upon the lived experience of her non-professional actors to create a sensitive and melancholy portrait of the American West, Zhao marks herself out as a rising auteur to watch.

"The Rider is like [John Huston’s] The Misfits as re-imagined by Claire Denis, an archetypal story about the knotty tangle of work, masculinity, identity, and the natural world, told in a subjective and sympathetic formal style." – MUBI Notebook


See also...

THE LITTLE HOURS

Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco and Nick Offerman tear up the middle ages in this raunchy and hilarious sex-farce based on The Decameron. ... Specifically, The Little Hours adapts the first sto... More »

GRIDLOCK'D

Tupac Shakur's screen epitaph, completed prior to the rapper, and alleged gangster, being gunned down in Vegas late last year. Grid-lock'd is a skewed (drug) buddy film following the ludicrous misadve... More »

THE GODFATHER

Francis Ford Coppola's blockbuster is arguably the preeminent film of its kind in the modern era. The Godfather became one of the highest-grossing films in movie history and in 1972 earned Coppola thr... More »

TREES LOUNGE

Steve Buscemi has made an indelible mark on the world of independent film as an actor, bringing to life such unforgettable characters as 'Mr Pink' in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and the stresse... More »

LAYIN' LOW

One of the more accomplished of the recent crop of low budget, independent US films. This deadpan comedy features two feckless losers, Jerry and Christy, as its main characters. Their lives suddenly b... More »

COURTING COURTNEY

Courting Courtney is Paul Tarantino's (no rela­tion) first project, his previous experience in film coming from his job in the marketing department of Walt Disney Studios and the classes he attended (... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director