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By Megan Bianco

Like many things in 2020, the release of Euros Lyn’s Dream Horse was held back for a whole year. But the new film is, fortunately in many ways, one of the better choices to lead viewers back into theaters that are gradually reopening, as it has all the beats and tropes of a traditional feel-good movie.

In a small Welsh town in the early 2000s, Jan Vokes (Toni Collette) is a lower-class wife working two jobs as a bartender and a convenience store employee. She’s finding her life at a standstill with her kids grown up and her unemployed husband, Brian (Owen Teale), lounging around the house all day.

Photo: Courtesy of Bleecker Street / Warner Bros.

When she overhears one of her bar patrons, Howard (Damian Lewis), boasting about a horse he had bet on winning a race, she gets an idea to breed, train and race her own horse. Eventually named Dream Alliance, the racehorse becomes a syndicate, with Jan, Brian, Howard and a handful of other locals willing to chip in for the horse to compete in the Grand National.

Dream Horse is based on events of a real woman named Jan Vokes and a real, prize-winning racehorse named Dream Alliance. Lyn’s new movie is pretty much exactly what you want and expect from a light-hearted horse flick.

There’s the rising underdog plot; the unlikely, yet likable group of friends who come together; the family angle; and the inspirational story.

One thing I liked a lot was that Brian seemed as if he were going to be a lazy, unsupportive husband at the beginning of the movie, but rather quickly, we instead have him supporting and aiding Jan in her vision and goals for Dream.

If you’re still looking for an excuse to have a fun night at the movie theater for the first time in more than a year, Dream Horse might do the trick.

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