Director: Clint Bentley
Runtime: 95 minutes
Cast: Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker, Moises Arias, Logan Cormier, Colleen Hartnett
Synopsis: An aging jockey (Clifton Collins Jr.), hopes to win one last title for his longtime trainer (Molly Parker), who has acquired what appears to be a championship horse. But the years – and injuries – have taken a toll on his body, throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion. The arrival of a young rookie rider (Moises Arias), who claims to be his son, and whom he takes under his wing, further complicates the path to fulfilling his dream.
Director Clint Bentley’s first feature, co-written with Greg Kwedar, drips authenticity and engaging realism. Bentley’s father was a jockey, and this beautifully crafted horse-racing drama had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2021.
Jockey gives audiences an inside view of racetrack life in a way that no other film has, and was beautifully shot by cinematographer Adolpho Veloso at a live racetrack in Arizona, and features real jockeys, revealing the true rider experience – the real life, behind the track.
An utterly mesmerising and brilliant performance comes from the charismatic Clifton Collins Jr. [Nightmare Alley (2021), Westworld (TV Series) (2016-2020), Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019), Capote (2005)] as an aging jockey, Jackson Silva, who hopes to win one last title for his longstanding trainer, Ruth [Molly Parker – House of Cards (TV Series) (2014-2016), Deadwood: The Movie (TV Movie) (2019), Goliath TV (2016)], who has acquired what appears to be a championship horse. But the years – and injuries – have taken a toll on his body, throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion. Jackson suspects that he still has one last, truly great race left in him. The obstacles standing in his way are excessive weight, a recurring spinal injury and then an emotionally distressing encounter with Gabriel, a young rookie rider [Moises Arias – Ender’s Game (2013), The Kings of Summer (2013) and Nacho Libre (2006)] who claims to be his son. Jackson takes him under his wing and further complicates the path to fulfilling his own dream.
Clifton Collins Jr’s electrifying and nuanced performance gives this visually poetic drama its soul and reveals the true rider experience – naturalistically depicting real life, behind the track.
With an atmospheric score by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner, Jockey is a genuinely elegiac tale of redemption.
Images courtesy of: Sony Pictures Classics