- The Rider
- Written and directed by: Chloé Zhao
- Starring: Brady Jandreau
- Classification 14A
- 104 minutes
Whether it’s riding a wild stallion or outgrowing a relationship, the feeling of abandoning the very thing that used to define you is bittersweet. Chloé Zhao’s The Rider concerns the plight of Brady Blackburn (first-time performer Brady Jandreau), a young cowboy who is forced to let go of his rodeo-riding dream after a near-fatal head injury.
Jandreau, acting opposite his real-life family members and friends, disappears into a role largely based on his own experiences, oozing empathy from his pores. The beautiful cinematography captures the story in striking, magic-hour landscapes and vistas of South Dakota. Armed with an intimate tale and the true grit of Jandreau’s teeth, The Rider is the best film about searching for a new identity in the wreckage of the American dream since Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (2008). It is here to break your heart.