One of the most heart-stirring, authentic films I’ve seen in the past year is Chloé Zhao’s remarkable drama The Rider, which stars first-time actor Brady Jandreau in a story loosely based on his life. He plays a cowboy who must deal with the struggle of the reality of his life’s passion after surviving a near-fatal head injury. Although it premiered at Cannes (where we reviewed), I caught it at New York Film Festival, but instead of a qualifying run last year, Sony Classics decided to hold it until this spring and now the first trailer has arrived.

“What does a cowboy do when he can’t ride?,” Ed Frankl said in our review. “Chloe Zhao’s absorbing South Dakota-set sophomore feature has its titular rider come to terms with such a fate, in a film that’s a beguiling mix of docudrama and fiction whose story echoes much of history of its actors’ own lives. Zhao’s combination of the visual palette of Terrence Malick, the social backbone of Kelly Reichardt, and the spontaneity of John Cassavetes creates cinema verité in the American plains.”

See the trailer below.

Based on his a true story, THE RIDER stars breakout Brady Jandreau as a once rising star of the rodeo circuit warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

The Rider opens on April 13, 2018.

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