“Dreamer,” reviewed by Jennifer Anne Messing.
Family/Sports drama. Rated PG for brief, mild language. Recommended for family viewing, with kids of all ages. Check your favorite movie rental stores or the public library for availability.
Dreamer is a one hour, forty-six minute, 2005 Dreamworks Pictures film release, in color, directed by John Gatins, starring Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, Elisabeth Shue, Luis Guzman and Freddy Rodriguez. This family sports drama is set in the beautiful horse country of Lexington, Kentucky.
Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) is a professional horse trainer who loses his job abruptly and who agrees to keep a badly injured racehorse, Soñador, as part of his severance pay. Ben Crane sincerely believes that Soñador, Spanish for “Dreamer,” deserves another chance. Ben’s unemployed status, however, brings hard times on his family. Ben’s daughter, Cale Crane (Dakota Fanning), a spirited young girl who has always dreamt of having a horse on her father’s farm again—becomes excited about the thought of nursing Soñador back to health with hopes to breed her.
In the ensuing weeks, Ben Crane and his father, Pop Crane (Kris Kristofferson), Cale, and their two stable hands, Balon (Luis Guzman) and Manolin (Freddy Rodriguez), spend time nursing Soñador while exploring options for breeding her. While Cale spends many hours alongside her father and her grandfather and their two stable hands, she develops a strong affection for Soñador and acquires her father’s love of horses.
Ben’s wife, Lily Crane (Elisabeth Shue) gives full support to Ben and Cale in their efforts with Soñador as she sees for the first time in years how the project is uniting their family in new ways. Ben and Cale also begin to develop a closer father-daughter relationship. Many viewers will find themselves cheering for Cale, her family, and for Soñador in this heartwarming story of dreams and second chances.
Dreamer is an outstanding movie that depicts how a family reaches out to meet each other’s emotional needs during a time of change and confusion and how they grow to love and understand each other in a fuller and more meaningful way. A verse in the Bible, Galatians 6:2 (NASB), exhorts us to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Dreamer also positively depicts the love of horses and farm life passed on in three generations of a family. The famous poem that reads, “Children learn what they live … “ aptly describes how Cale Crane caught her father’s love of horses and horse training by working with him on their farm.
Dreamer portrays the charm and simplicity of rural life and the ways that children can be benefited by caring for an animal and developing a bond with their pet as well as dramatizing how a young girl, Cale Crane, pursued her goals with single-mindedness and perseverance no matter what obstacle stood in her way.
All of the lead and supporting players in Dreamer do a fine job. Dakota Fanning is a young and talented actress who portrays Cale Crane skillfully and believably in a leading role that explores the depths of a child’s emotions in a variety of scenes. Kurt Russell portrays Ben Crane convincingly as the detached father and worn-out horse trainer going through a mid-life crisis. Elisabeth Shue deserves special mention: she plays Lily Crane, the loving and supportive wife and mother who does not say much but who quietly influences what is going on without being bossy.
Dreamer also features beautiful cinematography accompanied by a mood-enhancing musical score. There are a couple of scenes which have a moment of questionable language, but they are brief and not gratuitous. Dreamer is recommended and is appropriate for family viewing.
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Dreamer makes a great addition to your family movie collection!
Click here to purchase Dreamer from Amazon.com.
Portland residents can borrow Dreamer, on DVD, at the Multnomah County Public Library, tel. 503-988-5234. Dreamer in DVD format can be rented at Movie Madness, 4320 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon, 97215, tel. 503-234-4363.
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Author, poet, speaker and singer Jennifer Anne F. Messing of Portland, Oregon, is a wife, and mother of three children. She has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education and a diploma in Journalism and Short Story Writing. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, Jennifer Anne has over 180 articles, movie reviews, and poems published in 60 magazines and books including The Christian Journal, Evangel, LIVE, Standard, The Gem, Christian Fiction Online and Nudges from God. Her gift book, MORNING’S PROMISE: Poetic Moments in His Presence will be released in paperback in Winter 2012. CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER, or find more information on her website: www.JenniferAnneMessing.com.
Copyrighted © by Jennifer Anne Fabregas Messing. Contact the author for reprint information. Email: Secretary@jenniferannemessing.com