Home Entertainment Jockey review – a sentimental movie that trots a well-trod narrative

Jockey review – a sentimental movie that trots a well-trod narrative

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‘How many occasions have you ever damaged your again?” A concerned-looking physician is asking a jockey. It takes him a couple of seconds to depend. “Three … I believe.” The physician, it seems, is a vet; the jockey, who’s in his 40s, hasn’t bought the money for medical therapy so slips the racetrack vet a couple of {dollars} for an X-ray. It’s a scene typical of this macho-sentimental characteristic debut from Clint Bentley, which trots a well-trod narrative: the past-his-peak athlete clutching at one final probability of glory earlier than the knacker’s yard. It’s a film that will get by (after which some) on an intense and targeted efficiency by character actor Clifton Collins Jr, and a truthful-feeling sense of place.

Collins performs the jockey: Jackson Silva is stable and respectable, a person of few phrases and well-respected on the circuit. Racing has taken its toll on his physique: he’s numb down one aspect and has bought the shakes in his crop holding hand. Nonetheless, Jackson is satisfied he’s bought a few years left in him. He’s labored for a while with coach Ruth (a heat and beneficiant efficiency by Molly Parker), who has simply purchased an distinctive younger thoroughbred. One other film would have required a romance between Jackson and Ruth; however right here the pair solely have eyes for his or her horse. (“She’s like a swan with enamel,” Jackson marvels).

Director Bentley is the son of a jockey and shot the film at a scruffy racetrack in Phoenix, casting real-life jockeys alongside skilled actors. And he actually will get beneath the pores and skin of this world, its lifestyle, rhythms and textures – although I discovered the subplot involving a younger jockey (Moises Arias) sniffing round asking questions on Jackson a bit predictable. Nonetheless, there’s an excellent scene the place jockeys sit round on the finish of the day buying and selling tales of previous accidents like military veterans. It says one thing about Collins’ lived-in efficiency that his lined, creased face matches proper in. He’s absolutely entitled to place his years as a personality actor behind him.

Jockey is launched on 4 February in cinemas.

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