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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
by Gingersnap | YouTube Music | June 6, 2021
Dream Horse has 23 songs from the original motion picture soundtrack, with a total of 46 minutes listening time. All music is by Benjamin Woodgates. You can listen to the playlist in one of these libraries here:
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True Story of a Welsh Village That Bought a Racehorse is a Winner!
by Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian | June 3, 2021
****4 Stars ****
Yes, it’s schmaltzy, very schmaltzy, but with strong performances by Toni Collette and Damian Lewis the odds are that you’ll love it.
Six years ago I found myself gripped by the overwhelmingly likable documentary Dark Horse, which told the amazing true story of Janet Vokes, a former whippet breeder and pigeon fancier from the depressed Welsh village of Cefn Fforest who organised a community syndicate to buy a racehorse. The drinkers at Jan’s local chipped in a weekly £10 sub and their horse, symbolically called Dream Alliance, wound up winning the Welsh Grand National, basically making it the Seabiscuit of the valleys.
I predicted at the time that this would be remade as a fiction feature with Imelda Staunton as Jan and Jim Broadbent as her hangdog husband Brian. Well, actually it’s Toni Collette and Owen Teale, with Damian Lewis playing Howard Davies, the local tax accountant and breezy man-of-the-world whose dangerously addictive love of horseracing inspires Jan. The resulting movie may be a bit schmaltzy – actually, a lot schmaltzy – but I couldn’t help enjoying it: like Chariots of Fire, only with horses. That comparison, however, may be down to Chariots cast member Nicholas Farrell here playing the shrewd professional trainer Philip Hobbs.
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The True Story of a Welsh Village That Raised a Racehorse
by Vanessa Thorpe | The Guardian/The Observer | May 30, 2021
Ever felt stirred by a warm sense of connection to the world around you? Well, the Welsh have a word for that precious sensation: “hwyl”, sounding a little like “hoyle” to an English ear. And, as cinema projectors whirr into action again, there is one film above all others that aims to bring you this very emotion.
Out on 4 June, Dream Horse is the true story of the extraordinary racehorse that brought a group of impoverished Welsh owners together and offered them fresh hope against all imaginable odds. And the concept of hwyl, a kind of mystic combination of those two more famous buzz words, the Irish “craic” and the Danish “hygge”, is right at the film’s core, according to director Euros Lyn.
“Its meaning is described in the film, but actually there are lots of uses. If you are a Welsh speaker, you ask people in the morning how the hwyl is. Or you use it if someone is clearly enjoying few drinks at the bar. It is a sort of “life force”, and the characters in Dream Horse are certainly on that kind of adventure. So it’s the right word and it is also what we want for our audiences.”
Starring Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, Joanna Page and Owen Teale, the film tells of an inexperienced syndicate in the valleys of South Wales who fund the training of a thoroughbred, Dream Alliance, that goes on to beat the best on the race course.
The Dream Alliance story had already been told in an award-winning documentary, Dark Horse, but writer Neil McKay “went back to first base”, said Lyn. “Neil did a deep dive and spent a long time with the real people involved. They’ve all had such varied lives, including Howard Davies, the accountant that Damian plays, we knew we had to leave some of it out.”
Lewis, who lost his wife, the acclaimed actress Helen McCrory, to cancer earlier this year, is half Welsh and had been keen to work closer to home after starring in the flashy American hedge-fund drama, Billions, for Sky. “It was perfect timing,” the actor has said. “I like its almost naive warmth and generosity of spirit, compared to the Billions world, which is all about transactional favour-trading.”
“It was wonderful to have Damian as Howard,” said Lyn. “His father is Welsh and he has a brilliant ear anyway.”
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A Winning, Feel-Good True Racing Tale
by Pete Hammond | Deadline | May 20, 2021
If audiences are looking for a little uplift after a long time locked down, if they want a feeling of hope and human connection, and if they long for just a good old-fashioned, Rocky-like feel-good story, then Dream Horse, is the must-see movie for them. Finally hitting theaters Friday after debuting at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, it’s one of those small gems that somehow gets made in the shadow of blockbuster tentpoles and genre films. This true story of a small Welsh town and the unlikely racehorse champion that brings them together is a lovely movie designed to make you feel good about life. Nothing wrong with that.
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A Familiar Bet
by Glenn Kenny | New York Times | May 20, 2021
Toni Collette and Damian Lewis play two underdogs in Wales who invest in a race horse in this comedy-drama ripped from the headlines.
In the comedy-drama “Dream Horse,” a woman who works two jobs gets an idea. Remembering her glory days of training animals — pigeons, to be exact — she is determined to buy a mare and birth a race horse. She doesn’t have the resources to do it on her own, so she turns to her sleepy community in Wales to pool their assets.
This sports underdog story, which is based on true events, has several features endemic to the genre. But “Dream Horse,” an unabashed crowd-pleaser directed by Euros Lyn, earns its smiles and cheers.