Dream Horse Review

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

PLOT: The true and inspiring story of Dream Alliance, a racehorse bred by a Welsh bartender in a small community.

REVIEW: The new true-life tale Dream Horse is by the very definition a feel-good flick. Nearly every single moment will bring the viewing audience a big old smile on their face. Think of all the uplifting sports tales, or personal growth experiences, and add in one utterly charming cast, and this is what you get. There's something very satisfying in this day and age about a movie like this. Directed by Euros Lyn, the film manages to bring a sense of wonder and joy to this working-class tale that was a dream come true for those involved. Toni Collette and Damian Lewis star in a film that features an incredible cast in an engaging and colorful tale of faith and inspiration. Let's head off to the races, shall we?

Toni Collette plays Jan Vokes, a woman trying to get by on her meager existence with her husband Brian (Owen Teale). One night on her shift as a bartender at a local pub, she overhears a gentleman by the name of Howard Davies (Damian Lewis) telling a rowdy gang of on-lookers about his days of owning a racehorse. Jan, who has experience entering pigeons in a local contest decides that owning a racehorse could change their lives. Realizing that she couldn't possibly do it alone, she enlists the help of several of her townsfolk to chip in and breed a horse to race. They all come together and find themselves the proud owner of a young horse they call Dream Alliance.

Dream Horse, Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, true story, Dream Alliance, comedy, drama, JoBlo.com

There's no doubt that Toni Collette is a marvelous actress. What is especially exciting about her career is that she is always taking on such unique character roles. Jan is no exception. Toni gives such an achingly sweet show as a woman who desperately wants to do something special, that it makes her incredibly sympathetic. Yet it is the relationship she shares with her on-screen hubby that brings both characters to life. Owen Teale is perfect as a well-meaning, yet not always understanding spouse. The chemistry between these two is impossible to resist. Both Collette and Teale create a very honest and sincere couple. So much so that when Brian defends his wife's honor, it brought this movie-goer absolute joy. It's impossible to not want to invest in their story thanks to these two wonderful performances.

Director Euros Lyn has created a colorful world with a cast that includes Siân Phillips, Nicholas Farrell, Peter Davison, Joanna Page, Karl Johnson, Katherine Jenkins, and many more. There is something very rich about this incredible ensemble talent, something genuine. When this group gets together to share a ride on a bus to an upcoming face, it never feels like watching a bunch of actors play pretend. Although there is one moment where they are divided during a heated debate. It is one that involves the co-owned horse and features short monologues about why each believes they should do the right thing. With the urgency of the situation, it seems a bit illogical. Yet it certainly adds a bit of dramatic tension so it was easy to see what they were trying to achieve in that particular moment – you'll know it when you see it.

Dream Horse, Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, drama, Dream Alliance, true story, comedy, JoBlo.com

Another impressive aspect of Dream Horse is the race sequences themselves. Whether you are a fan of horse racing or not, watching these majestic animals come to life on the track is an incredible image. Lyn and cinematographer Erik Wilson bring a sense of excitement that brings energy to this feature. Even if you have no interest in the subject matter, you'll likely find these moments quite intense and inspiring. And speaking of the horse, what a gorgeous animal the horse is. As terrific as the connection between Collette and Teale is, her scenes with Dream Alliance will bring many of you to tears in the best possible way.

Dream Horse is a feel-good movie all around. The characters are all delightful, and I have to give additional credit to Damian Lewis who is utterly superb here. The rocky relationship he has with his well-meaning wife (Joanna Page) is quite touching. If you love horses, you're not going to want to miss this. If you dig uplifting movies that bring a little joy into the viewers' life, you're going to want to see this. The races are thrilling, the score is terrific, and the script by Neil McKay nicely connects all these people's lives. It may be a bit predictable, especially if you've ever seen nearly any inspiration sports flick, but this one is well worth investing your time into. Dream Horse is a charmer that nearly everyone will likely appreciate.

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.