Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story

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Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st October 2005

Box Office USA: $33.0M

Distributed by: Dreamworks


Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 75 Rotten: 42

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: as Ben Crane, as Cale Crane, as Pop Crane, as Lily, as Palmer, as Manolin, as Balon

Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story Review

Take Seabiscuit, remove the cussing, the drunkenness, the Depression, and all the death, and add in one prococious little blonde girl. You pretty much have Dreamer, a perfectly acceptable family film that, nonetheless, adds nothing to the genre.

Heck, if you throw in a zebra as well you have Racing Stripes, which came out a year earlier and told the same story: Girl adopts horse that no one believes in (in Dreamer it's a horse with a broken leg, not a zebra), who goes on to fame at the races. The film is based on a true story -- as the title probably clued you in -- about a horse named Mariah's Storm, a female who broke her leg and, after being completely written off, eventually returned to the track and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's pretty much the same story here, though the horse is named Sonador (Spanish for "dreamer," if you add in a tilde), and genre-appropriate villains are written in to the tale.

If the beaming picture on the cover isn't a giveaway, this is a Dakota Fanning movie first and a horsey movie second. She's the precious daughter of Kurt Russell and Elisabeth Shue, and salty old Kris Kristofferson -- grandpa -- is also on hand at the stable. Events conspire the lead to dad getting fired by his evil boss (David Morse) and taking the lame horse as part of his severance pay, but he's such an awesome trainer that he fixes her leg and gets her into shape to race again. You can fill in the rest, I'm sure.

If you hate Fanning, you're going to really hate Dreamer -- and honestly she's who the title is referring to, not the horse. But even though I can admit she can get under your skin, she isn't bad here. In fact it's probably her meatiest role to date. The story isn't bad, either, though it's derivative to a fault. The movie simply feels more professional than most family fare, and, if nothing else, it's way better than junk like Racing Stripes. Give it a whirl, if you have kids, anyway.

The DVD adds several making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, and a commentary track.

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Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story Rating

" OK "