Review: Dream Horse, a true tale

Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, Owen Teale, and Brian Doherty in Dream Horse

Dream Horse is based on a true story about a race horse named Dream Alliance that was raised on a Welsh allotment by a syndicate of regular folks who knew nothing about race horses. It’s a feel good story of hope and triumph. You’ll find it on Hulu.

Dream Horse begins with Jan Vokes (Toni Collette). She has two boring jobs, a boring husband, and parents she must care for. Around her house are geese, goats, a big dog, and possibly some racing pigeons. Even so, it’s a pretty humdrum existence.

At night Jan works in a bar. One night a big talker named Howard (Damian Lewis) spouts loud stories about a race horse. The gossip is he almost lost everything over a horse, but Jan recognizes that he’s a source of information and stars asking him questions. She’s had a brainstorm!

Jan secretly researches how to breed a race horse. When she’s ready with the information, she tells her husband Brian (Owen Teale) she’s going to breed a race horse.

She talks several of her friends in the town into putting in ten pounds per week in a syndicate to buy a mare, get a stud, raise the horse, and get it trained. And it works! They all join together in this crazy dream of hers.

Poster for Dream Horse

Through chance, luck, Welsh persuasion skills, and determination, they do manage to breed a horse. They name it Dream Alliance.

Because this movie is based on a true story about a real horse, you know he turns out to be a winner. It’s not smooth sailing; there are plenty of roadblocks and disasters. This is a happy movie. The people start to sing at the drop of a hat (or a pint) and they celebrate each win of Dream Alliances with verve.

I can’t comment on Toni Collette’s mastery of a Welsh accent, but her acting is impeccable as always.

Here’s a wikipedia article on Dream Alliance, but it’s full of spoilers, so beware.

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