TIFF 2017: ‘The Rider’ Review

Brady Jandreau as Brady Blackburn in THE RIDER

Sony Pictures Classics | Mongrel Media

The Rider is a beautiful and introspective portrait of a young cowboy, Brady, in South Dakota who can’t give up the life of a rodeo star even after a near-fatal head injury that stemmed from being bucked off a horse. Doctors have told him he needs to stop riding, but without the rodeo he doesn’t know who he’s supposed to be or what he’s supposed to do.

Playing fictionalized versions of themselves, it’s amazing how talented this cast is, considering they are real people who have never acted before. Brady Jandreau is joined by his real-life father, sister, and friend, Lane Scott, who became paralyzed after a similar accident to Brady’s.

The future is definitely female and the immensely talented Chloé Zhao is proof of this. The Rider is only her second feature film and it is near perfection. Not only is the story incredibly moving, but every frame of the film is stunning. You could pause this film at any point and have a print created and framed as art. If you’ve never heard of Zhao before, she’ll definitely be on your radar after you see The Rider.

Rating: 9/10

Public Screenings: Sept 9 9:45 pm, Sept 11 4:15 pm

Find all of our TIFF 2017 reviews and coverage here.

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