Not since a teenage Elizabeth Taylor rode her steed to victory in Nationwide Velvet has a movie a couple of child and a horse confirmed such an efficient tearjerker as Christian Duguay’s French drama a couple of younger lady who doesn’t let a horrible accident stop her from pursuing her dream of changing into a jockey. The movie could really feel predictable at instances in its plot machinations, however it nonetheless exerts a stable emotional pull that ought to make it a crowd-pleaser upon its theatrical launch subsequent month in its native nation. Journey Above just lately obtained its U.S. premiere because the centerpiece movie of the Fort Lauderdale Worldwide Movie Competition.
The story begins in 2001, when Zoe is born in a racehorse steady owned by her dad and mom concurrently a horse named Stunning Intrigue. Zoe and Stunning Intrigue develop up collectively, with the teenage lady’s (Carmen Kassovitz, daughter of French actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz) innate love of horses inspired by her supportive dad and mom (Mélanie Laurent, Pio Marmai). When Stunning Intrigue later offers delivery to a foal, Zoe names him Tempete and begins to groom him for racing, satisfied that he’s a future champion.
The Backside Line
Triumphantly crosses the end line.
Tragedy strikes when Zoe is by accident run over by Stunning Intrigue when the horse will get spooked by a torrential thunderstorm. Confined to a wheelchair in consequence, Zoe turns into bitterly depressed, transferring right into a shack particularly rigged to compensate for her handicap. The stables’ autistic worker Seb (Kacey Mottet Klein, admirably refined), who has a particular means with horses, makes an attempt to attract her out of her shell, as does a bodily therapist (Hugo Becker) newly employed by her dad and mom to work together with her. However Zoe principally proves proof against their entreaties till she discovers that she will be able to strengthen her muscle tissues by swimming, which inspires her to as soon as once more try and get again within the saddle.
Beneath Seb’s steering, Zoe practices using Tempete late at evening, initially with out her dad and mom realizing. They ultimately get smart and, regardless of extreme misgivings, comply with let her secretly substitute for the scheduled jockey of a horse owned by a rich couple (Danny Huston, talking French impressively in a nifty bilingual efficiency, and French display screen veteran Carole Bouquet) in an upcoming big-stakes race. Set throughout a blinding snowstorm, the climactic sequence delivers the requisite suspense and emotion in high-level doses.
Director Duguay (The Artwork of Warfare, The Project), working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Lilou Foglie and Christophe Donner (creator of the novel on which the movie relies), manages to expertly pull heartstrings with out lapsing into extreme sentimentality. The equestrian sequences are superbly staged and edited, and whereas the movie fortunately avoids anthropomorphizing in its depiction of the connection between Zoe and her horse, dad and mom must be suggested to have solutions prepared when their younger youngsters request their very own ponies after seeing the movie.
Journey Above by no means feels overly manipulative or hokey, due to its complicated characterizations, subtle dialogue and very good performances by its ensemble. Kassovitz delivers a heartbreaking flip within the central position with out resorting to maudlin makes an attempt to realize our sympathy, whereas Laurent supplies a vivid portrait of maternal fierceness because the mom who refuses to let her daughter stop. Marmai is equally good because the loving father, whereas Mottet-Klein and Becker make vivid impressions of their supporting roles.
Venue: Fort Lauderdale Worldwide Movie Competition
Manufacturing firms: Nolita Cinema, Pathe, TF1 Studio, France 2 Cinema, Pictanovo
Forged: Melanie Laurent, Pio Marmai, Carmen Kassovitz, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Carole Bouquet, Danny Huston
Director: Christian Duguay
Screenwriters: Christian Duguay, Christophe Donner, Lilou Fogli
Producers: Maxime Delauney, Romain Rousseau
Director of images: Christophe Graillot
Manufacturing designer: Frederique Doublet, Frederi Grandclere
Editors: Maxime Lahaie, Sylvain Lebel
Costume designer: Alice Cambournac
1 hour 58 minutes