Dream Horse (2020)

dir. Euros Lyn

Dream Horse is an absolutely confounding film. Based on a true story, it tells the tale of Dream Alliance, a racehorse bred in a village who beat the odds to become a champion. The film swiftly loses appeal for anyone who is not very, very interested in horseracing, because the attempts to convey universal concepts – determination, belief, care, pride – are all utterly hollow. It is astounding that Toni Collette chose to take on this role, as her character Jan genuinely displays significantly less character than the voiceless horse she raises. The portrayal of a kooky band of Welsh villagers is irritating at best, and alarming at worst. One of the villagers has a crippling alcohol problem which is played for laughs when it really shouldn’t be; meanwhile an accountant’s chronic gambling dependency is downplayed, because apparently believing in Dream Alliance is all that matters. It is highly likely the true story contains more interesting moments and fewer abhorrent characters, but as it stands, Dream Horse veers close to being the stuff of nightmares.

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