Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dreamer: Plotting in Two Hours

Last night the kids and I watched part of Dreamer again. If you haven't seen this film with Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning, I encourage you to rent it.

When I first saw it this spring, I was struck by the way the film is a classic example of story arcs and black moments. Just when things begin to look up, another calamity or roadblock falls on the family at the core of the movie.

Spoiler Alert: if you have not watched the movie, stop reading and go rent it immediately!

First, we get a picture of a family that is down on its luck and a bit dysfunctional because of dead dreams. They live on the only horse farm that doesn't have horses. Kale, Dakota Fanning's character, forces her dad to take her to the race track with him where she has the time of her life...until the horse is injured in a race. Then Dad loses his job while refusing to let the horse be killed. Then they get the horse healed, and are ready to breed her. Boom -- there' s no money to pay for the selected stallion, even though his fee has been slashed. They find the money, then BOOM, she's infertile. Now what? They find out she can run again after she takes off with Kale on her back. Maybe we can race her? She wins a claimer race, surely no one will claim a horse who's broken her cannonbone. BOOM, she's purchased. Somehow they get her back.... You get the picture.

The story is masterfully told with peaks and valleys, building steadily to the ultimate peak and valley. And all packaged in a delightful film that my daughter and I can enjoy together.

So what movie has gripped you lately?

As an aside, the Dreamer website has some interesting family activities you can download. One contains faith and family activities. Another is a theological discussion guide created by Fuller Theological Seminary.

1 comment:

Sheryl said...

I watched Dreamer this past weekend and was captivated by it. You're right about the story arcs. And, to me, the mark of a good story is when you kinda know what the end will be (happy, yeah!), but you're still mesmerized by how the story gets there.

I rarely buy DVD's, just rent them, because usually watching a movie once is enough for me. But there are a few, and I think Dreamer is one of them, that I buy so I can watch it again.



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