The Horse Whisperer is a 1998 film starring Robert Redford, Scarlett Johannson, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Sam Neill.
10 out of 10 stars. This is the most brilliant film Robert Redford ever made. The music will haunt you. The cinematography is breathtaking. And yes, Montana really is this beautiful.
Grace and Judith are two teenage girls from wealthy parents in a suburb of New York City. Every morning they go riding with their horses Pilgrim and Gulliver. On this particular morning, they are chatting away a mile a minute when Judith starts up an icy hill. Gulliver can’t make it. She keeps trying, forcing the horse up the hill although it’s very dangerous. That ends up costing her her life and Gulliver’s life. The horse falls with Judith on him and she is trapped beneath him. Then a semi truck comes racing down the icy road and jackknifes when it can’t stop. Pilgrim rears up, trying to protect Grace from the truck and they are both hit by the sliding semi. The truck rolls over Grace’s right leg and takes huge chunks of flesh from Pilgrim’s face and chest.
Grace’s parents are Annie, a high powered magazine editor in New York City, and Robert, a mild-mannered doctor. They agonize over how to help Grace. Her right leg has been amputated and she’s completely withdrawn. Annie, not one to give up, decides in order to heal Grace she has to heal Pilgrim, who is so traumatized by the event that the stable vet wants to put him down. She refuses. Instead she finds a magazine article about a horse whisperer named Tom Booker on a ranch in Montana. So she packs up Grace, puts Pilgrim in a horse trailer, and drives all the way from New York City to a remote ranch in Montana.
Tom Booker doesn’t like Annie’s brashness or her loudness. She is very loud and always on the phone. He’s the opposite, a quiet man, a cattle rancher. But Tom sees Pilgrim and Grace and decides to take a chance. What he achieves over the next few months is nothing short of a miracle. He heals Pilgrim and he heals Grace. He also falls in love with Annie who falls in love with him too.
Eventually Robert shows up and they all go back to New York City, but it’s a beautiful story about people, pain, and loss.
10 out of 10 stars. There’s a reason this film has won so many awards. It’s breathtaking. I bought the soundtrack and listen to it all the time.