Jockey: One of the great horse racing movies

Jockey is now available to rent from Neon, iTunes, GooglePlay and AroVision.

Young buck Gabriel Boulliet (Moises Arias) is now dominating the big races and, to Jackson’s surprise and annoyance, eager to assail his elder with a barrage of questions. Then, when the kicker comes, Gabriel claiming to be Jackson’s son, the veteran laughs it off as a joke. “I’m not sure what your mother told you, but that’s in no way possible,” he rages.

As the anger turns to self-loathing and reflection, there’s also suddenly hope. His old friend, trainer Ruth Wilkes (Molly Parker) has decided to take the plunge into horse ownership. Staking her reputation on a yearling nobody wanted – Dido’s Lament – Ruth believes Jackson is just the rider to help unlock its potential. But can he get both himself and Dido’s Lament into competitive shape for a shot at the big time?

Fans of inspiring equine tales like Seabiscuit and Secretariat will lap up director and co-writer Clint Bentley’s debut feature. There’s an authenticity and intimate, almost claustrophobic feel about the cinematography (tight framing and point-of-view shots abound) of the riding, racing and track scenes that really make you feel transported to the centre of the action.

Likewise, Bentley and fellow writer Greg Kwedar’s decision to use people they “found” around the racetracks of Phoenix as their supporting cast (a la Jason Reitman’s use of recently redundant salespeople in 2009’s Up in the Air) is a masterstroke, grounding the dialogue and discussions in reality and making Jackson and Ruth’s travails even more poignant…