Lean on Pete

"This moving drama grips you with such scrappy humor and no-bull grit and grace that you'll be hooked." ★★★★ Rolling Stone

Showing Times

Teen-aged Charley (Charlie Plummer) and his fond-but-feckless father are looking to make a fresh start in a new town.  School has yet to start, and Charlie is lucky to find casual work at a local race course.  Wily horse owner Del (Steve Buscemi) takes Charlie under his not-so-tender wing and, along with occasional jockey Bonnie (Chloe Sevigny), the three misfits travel round the circuit trying to make a buck off almost-good-enough horses. There is an impulse to kindness from the adults, used to a hardcore existence themselves, but when Charlie starts to confide in 5 year old horse, Lean on Pete, Bonnie warns him sharply not to make a pet of him.  Charlie's desperate attempt to save Pete becomes entwined with his own attempt to save himself.  Boy and horse abscond in the middle of the night, heading across country in the general direction of the last loving home Charlie knew, with his aunt.  It's an odyssey, but one without a guaranteed happy ending.

Writer/director Andrew Haigh got the opportunity to make this variation on the American road movie after the success of his brilliant 45 Years.  His characters - all three excellent - dispense hard-won life experience as freely as chicken feed, adding a stringy poetry to this restrained tale of hardship and hope.  Says Rolling Stone:  "The filmmaker shows a poet's eye for landscape and a gift for finding the random gesture that defines a character. Charley meets many people on his journey, affecting him in ways too moving to spoil. Anchored by Plummer's extraordinary, acutely observed performance, the hypnotic and haunting Lean on Pete works miracles in miniature, painting a portrait of a marginalized America that cuts deep."


Film Information

122 mins

Our Charity

We donate 100% of our profits to The Sustainability Institute,
a pioneering South African charity dedicated to changing lives.

Find out more