Chloé Zhao’s award–winning impressionistic drama casts real-life wrangler Brady Jandreau as a once rising star of the rodeo circuit warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Majestically captured by Joshua James Richards's intimate photography, the dusty, expansive landscapes provide the canvas for Zhao's art. Stoic and fearless with a rare sense of authenticity, she embraces the humanity of its characters and explores definitions of masculinity without glorification or judgment. THE RIDER is less a Western than a film about the real American West.
“[Director Chloé Zhao] has an eye for landscape and an acute sensitivity to the nuances of storytelling, a bold, exacting vision that makes THE RIDER exceptional among recent American regional-realist films.” —A.O. Scott, New York Times “This is a movie using non-professionals playing versions of themselves, and under Zhao’s patient, unintrusive directorial eye they appear to be inhabiting a kind of heightened documentary….It’s a very impressive, very accomplished film.” —Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
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