A fantastic feelgood comedy drama based on a true story, Dream Horse races on to DVD delivering a homegrown, crowd-pleasing hit. Based on the documentary Dark Horse from 2015, Toni Collette plays Jan Vokes, a woman stagnating in a Valleys town with dentally compromised husband Brian (Owen Teale), who goes into the horse racing world, forming a syndicate made up of locals and accountant Howard (Damien Lewis). They invest in a foal, Dream Alliance, via a tenner a week kitty and see rewards reaped as the horse rises up through the ranks to triumph… but there will be hurdles along the way.
Euros Lyn directs with assurance, creating a winning band of syndicate members in the shape of Welsh character actors like Di Botcher, Steffan Rhodri, Darren Evans, Rhys Ap William, the superb scene-stealing Karl Johnson and Welsh grand dame Sian Phillips. They add character and texture as an ensemble, whilst Teale and Collette are a believable couple, who have lost their verve for life and find hope and inspiration in their equine hero.
There are tense horse racing sequences and punch-the-air moments of triumph, coupled with a proud Welsh identity which feels authentic rather than tokenistic. The whole film gallops along with a winning exuberance and it would take a hard heart indeed not to feel the hwyl at its climax. DVD extras include cast and crew interviews and meeting the real-life syndicate members.
Dir: Euros Lyn (PG, 113 mins)
Out now on DVD and digital download
words KEIRON SELF
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