Categories Dream Horse Premiere Print Media Review Sundance Film Festival

Dream Horse Review: Variety – Jan 26, 2020

Equal Emphasis is Given to the Excellent Lewis

by Dennis Harvey | Variety | January 26, 2020

Louise Osmond’s 2015 Sundance audience winner “Dark Horse” was one of those documentaries that played like a crowdpleasing fiction, its real-life tale of underdog triumph had such a conventionally satisfying narrative arc. And indeed, the new “Dream Horse” proves that same material is indeed ready-made for dramatization.

Euros Lyn’s feature springs few true surprises within its familiar genre, one that U.K. filmmakers have specialized in at least since “The Full Monty.” Still, this is a well-cast, artfully handled effort that exercises sufficient restraint to really earn its requisite laughter and tears. Likely to have broad appeal, with strong word-of-mouth from its own Park City premiere, it looks to be one of the strongest commercial prospects at Sundance this year.

Toni Collette is in fine form as Jan Vokes, a middle-aged South Wales native whose life in declining former mining town Cefn Fforest has hit a seemingly permanent slump. Her children have left the nest, arthritic husband Brian (Owen Teale) mostly just parks himself in front of the telly, and her two jobs (bartending at the local social club/pub and cashiering at a big-box store) are joyless dead ends. She and Brian have always been keen on animals, each raising award-winning livestock from an early age. But currently they’re down to some geese, a lazy dog and the odd goat.

One day a newish patron (Damian Lewis) at the pub, bragging about his purported glories as part of a racehorse investing syndicate, piques Jan’s interest. After doing some research, she informs the incredulous Brian that they’re buying a brood mare, then actually goes out and does it. The next thing is to draft local investors to fund the considerable costs of orchestrating insemination by a racing stallion, raising the offspring, training, et al., with only the remotest chance of arriving at a winning competitor.

Continue reading Dream Horse Review: Variety – Jan 26, 2020

Categories Dream Horse Premiere Print Media Review Screenings Sundance Film Festival

Dream Horse Review: Toni Collette and Damian Lewis Lead This Crowd-Pleasing Sports Drama – Jan 26, 2020

It Will Make You Chuckle, Cheer, and Maybe Even Tear Up: 7 Out of 10

by Ben Pearson | Slash Film | January 26, 2020

Jane (Toni Collette) is tired. Tired of working multiple jobs in small-town Wales, tired of her boring husband Brian (Owen Teale) who bums around watching TV all day, tired of taking care of her aging parents, tired of the drudgery her life has become. So when Howard (Damian Lewis), a former hotshot racehorse owner, becomes a regular at the bar where she works, Jane is inspired to try her own hand at raising a racehorse – but she needs some help to pull it off. Based on a 2015 documentary called Dark Horse, director Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse is an inspirational, winning sports drama about a small town with big hopes.

The trouble with Jane’s plan is that racehorses are expensive. So she reaches out to the townsfolk to see if they want to form a syndicate, an ownership collective in which they all pay £10 a week for shared rights to the future winnings of their still non-existent racehorse. A coterie of characters shows up to participate, including retirees, local small business owners, and even the town drunk.

Continue reading Dream Horse Review: Toni Collette and Damian Lewis Lead This Crowd-Pleasing Sports Drama – Jan 26, 2020

Categories Dream Horse Gallery Premiere Review Screenings Sundance Film Festival

Dream Horse Sundance Review – Jan 25, 2020

“The Movie’s Got Spirit and Finishes Strong”

by Tim Grierson | Screen Daily | January 25, 2020

Toni Collette is a sure thing in Dream Horse, a thoroughly predictable but ultimately winning underdog sports movie. Based on the true story of a group of down-on-their-luck Welsh villagers who pool their assets to sponsor a racehorse, the movie goes a long way on the strength of the Oscar-nominated actress’s emotional performance as an unfulfilled wife and mother who decides to bet on herself. Director Euros Lyn overdoes the feel-good trappings, but it’s hard to deny the genuine sentiment that the movie stirs up.

This Sundance premiere will appeal to general audiences who just want a little uplift from their movies when it opens in the UK on April 17 and in the US in May. Collette fans will be pleased as well, and horse lovers should be charmed by the title character’s soulful eyes and knack for coming up big during the story’s most critical moments.

Set in the economically depressed Welsh community of Cefn Fforest, Dream Horse stars Collette as Jan Vokes, who works at a co-op and a bar to make ends meet. (Her husband Brian, played by Owen Teale, is out of work because of crippling arthritis.) With their kids grown, Jan (who’s always adored animals) is having trouble coping as an empty-nester — which partly explains her interest in supporting a racehorse, which might be a financial windfall and, more importantly, a way to add meaning to what she feels is a pretty humdrum life.

This real-life tale was previously the subject of the 2015 Sundance documentary Dark Horse, and there’s no mystery to why the material would lend itself to a likeable feature film. Recalling indie hits such as The Full Monty, Dream Horse is principally a salute to small-town characters who take a chance, in the process finding personal satisfaction. The movie’s target audience will want to believe that these downtrodden people can beat the odds, and Dream Horse does nothing to upset those expectations.

Continue reading Dream Horse Sundance Review – Jan 25, 2020

Categories Dream Horse Premiere

Dream Horse Set for Sundance World Premiere – Dec 4, 2019

2020 Sundance Film Festival

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | December 4, 2019

The nonprofit Sundance Institute announced the showcase of new independent feature films selected across all categories for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. A total of 118 feature films in all!

Of the showcase of premieres, Dream Horse starring Damian Lewis and Toni Collette, is among some of the most highly anticipated narrative films of the coming year and will receive it’s world premiere at the festival. The film has already been purchased by Bleecker Street, according to Indiewire.

The festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, from January 23–February 2, 2020. The Sundance Film Festival is Sundance Institute’s flagship public program, widely regarded as the largest American independent film festival and attended by more than 120,000 people and 1,300 accredited press, and powered by more than 2,000 volunteers last year.

Here are the dates you can see the premiere of Dream Horse at the festival:

Continue reading Dream Horse Set for Sundance World Premiere – Dec 4, 2019

Categories Events Premiere Run This Town Screenings

Run This Town Set for Napa Valley Film Festival – Sept 13, 2019

Announcing the NVFF19 Feature Films Competition

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 13, 2019

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. We’re thrilled to announce the ninth annual Napa Valley Film Festival’s Narrative and Documentary Feature films in core competition. These sixteen films will vie for the respective titles of Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature, as determined by our esteemed jury.

The Napa Valley Film Festival runs from November 13-17, 2019 and takes place at a variety of unique screening venues such as, theaters, wineries, resorts, estates, and vineyard settings throughout the Napa Valley in Napa, California. The festival is a 5-day celebration that blends the art of film, food, and wine together. Shop for general passes here.

The complete program lineup of approximately 80 films, including Studio Spotlights, Verge, Culinary Cinema, Special Presentations, and Narrative and Documentary Shorts will be announced in early October. And now, without further ado, the narrative and documentary films in core competition:

Run This Town, directed by Ricky Tollman

This is the story of the inner workings of a city seen through the eyes of the interns and assistants that run it. A political aide tries to corral his brash, outspoken boss when a young researcher at a newspaper gets word of a scandal that could make or break both of their careers. Starring Ben Platt, Mena Massoud, Nina Dobrev, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle, and Scott Speedman. West Coast Premiere.

Click here to purchase tickets to the screening of Run This Town set for Friday, November 15, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time in the Uptown Theater. Tickets are $25.00 USD.

Click here to see what Nina Dobrev has to say about Damian’s performance as Rob Ford.

Read the rest of the original article at Napa Valley Film Festival Organization