In his acclaimed directorial efforts “Weekend” and “45 Years,” Andrew Haigh has proved to be a master at investigating the intimate depths of human relationships. “Lean on Pete” represents a new kind of challenge in that its tells the story of a teenager’s connection with a horse, but Haigh still approaches this relationship with his trademark humanism.
“Lean on Pete” is adapted from the novel of the same name by Willy Vlautin. Charlie Plummer stars as 15-year-old Charley Thompson, who moves to Portland, Oregon with his father and befriends the workers at a local racetrack for horses. Charley gets a job looking after an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete and bonds with its owner (Steve Buscemi) and jockey (Chloë Sevigny). When the teenager is ordered to bring Pete to the slaughterhouse, he decides to set on across the frontier in an attempt to save his animal friend.
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave “Lean on Pete” a B+ review out of the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, praising it as a “searching, violently unsentimental coming-of-age drama about all the things we can do to save each other (and all of the things we can’t).”
A24 will open “Lean on Pete” in theaters in the spring. Watch the first trailer below.