Categories Dream Horse Print Media Review

Dream Horse Review by Deadline

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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Dream Horse Review by New York Times

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.

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Dream Horse Review by Indiewire

A Satisfyingly Sweet True Story

by David Ehrlich | Indiewire | May 19, 2021

The hard-luck residents of a Welsh mining town find new hope in this satisfyingly sweet true story about a racehorse that beat the odds.

A charmingly guileless crowd-pleaser about a lovable group of working-class stiffs and red-faced retirees in a former South Wales mining village who find new reason to get out of bed in the morning when they pool their resources and invest in breeding a thoroughbred, Euros Lyn’s “Dream Horse” is more than a little hackneyed for something based on such an amazing true story. And yet, the Rocky-like theatrics that dominate the home stretch — already familiar to anyone who remembers Louise Osmond’s equally winsome 2015 documentary on the subject, “Dark Horse” — are perhaps the least compelling aspect of a light matinee that can fray around the edges as it strains to thread the needle between “The Full Monty” and “Seabiscuit.” On the contrary, “Dream Horse” hits its stride off the track, where the paint-by-numbers drama of winning and losing takes a backseat to a more nuanced tale about the need to get back in the race.

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Dream Horse Review by Washington Post

Welsh Pride

by Michael O’Sullivan | Washington Post | May 19, 2021

Based on a true story, “Dream Horse” is a straightforward and unfussy feel-good drama about a group of ordinary people from a small Welsh town who decide to inject a little zest (and the risk of financial ruin) into their humdrum lives by breeding a racehorse, although none of them has the slightest experience in the field. Improbably, the stallion — named Dream Alliance for the motley assortment of naive and starry-eyed nobodies who form a syndicate to financially support, raise and race him — manages to do better than anyone could have imagined.

Anyone, that is, who has never seen a horse-racing movie before. (For the factual backstory, watch the charming documentary “Dark Horse.”)

The film’s protagonists, including the town drunk, the butcher and a lonely old lady — all of whom are colorful but clueless, with the exception of a savvy Cardiff accountant (Damian Lewis) who once owned and raced a thoroughbred — are not in it for the money but for something called the hwyl. It’s a Welsh concept (approximately pronounced “hoil”) that roughly translates to: a reason to get up in the morning.

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