A young girl (Fanning) gets her horse trainer dad (Russell) to take a gamble on an injured thorobred horse. The bring it back to racing fitness, and enter him in the Breeder's Cup. Inspired by a true story.
Aimed squarely at the tweenie audience of girls too young to have discovered boys or cynicism, Dreamer is the old-fashioned tale of a cute little moppet (played, surprise, surprise, by Dakota Fanning, now officially Hollywood’s most successful actress in terms of box-office receipts) and her love for a horse.
It’s no ordinary horse, of course, but an injured thoroughbred named Soñador (which means ‘dreamer’ in Spanish) that her equestrian trainer dad (a gruff but sensitive Kurt Russell) saves from the glue factory. Despite the family being on the verge of bankruptcy, Dad helps return the horse to fitness and even entertains the notion of entering the filly against-all-odds in the tough Breeders Cup. Do you think she can win? (Hint: only the target audience will be surprised by the outcome.) Still, decent performances and a brisk pace make for a sweet, Seabiscuity family drama.
If you knew the outcome before you read this far, you're probably too old for it, but it's sweetly on the money for its target audience.
Reviewed by Jo Berry