Thursday, June 23, 2011

The buzz on "Buck"

There's a movie coming out this summer that I'm hoping you will all go and see. I know you're going to like it because, if you're a reader of this blog, you love animals and probably have at least a passing interest in horses, cowboys and the west.


It's a documentary about Buck Brannaman, the horseman upon whom Robert Redford's movie "The Horse Whisperer" was based.

Here's the studio's summary of the movie:
Buck, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real life “horse-whisperer”, he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses - and people - with his understanding, compassion and respect. In this film, the animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life. A truly American story about an unsung hero, Buck is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds.




I've been following @Buckthefilm on twitter ever since it won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and it's been exciting to watch the buzz on this film grow among mainstream critics and non-horse people. I have yet to read a bad review – and I'm not kidding when I say I've read at least 50. Two reviewers did mention that the film seemed a bit hagiographic. Huh? I looked up the word and, yes, I suppose it might come off as "a biography that treats its subject as if he were a saint." But you know what? I've ridden with Buck twice, once on Hank and once on Lyle, and witnessed how this man understands and communicates with horses. From the horses' perspective, Buck does meet the criteria for sainthood.

Buck is the real deal. He's as plainspoken and forthright as a man can be, and funny, too. I absolutely cannot wait to watch him tonight on Letterman.

The film opened up last weekend on both coasts and will work its way to across the middle of the country this summer. Here is a link to the release schedule by city. It's coming to Albuquerque on July 1 and you can guess where I will be that day. Mom, Dad, it's opening at a bunch of places near you tomorrow. You'll love it. Promise!

I know it probably seems silly to be sort of reviewing a movie I haven't seen yet, but so be it. I know it's great. And I will climb further out on the limb by saying that come Oscar time next year? There will be one movie in that list of "Best Documentary Feature" nominees that I actually will have seen.

26 comments:

  1. Now THIS looks like a wonderful movie documentary. I could have watched the entire flick right now if it had been available to me. Thanks for sharing.

    DI

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  2. Anne Boleyn6/23/11, 5:21 AM

    I am so looking forward to seeing this film, even though I'm sitting here after watching the trailer crying into my coffee.
    Thanks Carson!

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  3. This looks like a great movie!! We all need self growth, thx for featuring this movie!! I am ALWAYS on the look out for inspirational, heartwarming movies/books.

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  4. You're staying up for Letterman? This guy has got to be the real deal. (jk)

    I'm in, because you've never steered us wrong. I'm reading your highly-recommended "The Help" just now, and loving it (and "getting" the names of your new hens now).

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  5. Oh, shoot! I'm crying, too. Dammit!!

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  6. I'm in total agreement with you Linda! I took the day off work just to be there when the movie opens. While I've never had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Buchanan in person I've read and re-read his books many times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  7. Estella from Co.6/23/11, 7:08 AM

    I also have ridden in Buck's clinics acouple of times and followed him for years ( at least 20 if not more), Lucy was trained with a number of his methods. I can only say good things about Buck and he's ALWAYS for the horse. I'm with Linda, even if you are not a equine person you will still get SOMETHING out of this movie.

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  8. I'm sure I'll go see it and probably buy it too.

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  9. I saw this film at a special screening in Portland last week. It was wonderful. I would love the opportunity to ride with him some day. There aren't many horsemen like him!

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  10. So looking forward to it ... and I'll catch him on Letterman tonight. Thanks for the heads up!

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  11. Oh my. I had no intention of liking this movie---movies with animals always make me sad. The trailer look amazing.

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  12. Love documentaries especially when they are about a REAL person who works hard and makes no excuses. Will be on the look out for this one. Thanks!

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  13. I love where he says to a woman "this horse tells me a lot about you". Yup. Our horses reflect us, good and bad.

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  14. Horse people are good people. This sounds like a movie that I'll own, not just go and see in a theatre. I think this kind of respect & communication between man & beast was what was intended when animals were given into man's care in the Garden.

    Blessings,
    Carolynn

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  15. I am so moved by just the trailer, how could I not go to see this film? And just reading the collection of comments here, I'd have a statue of Saint Buck...thanks Carson.

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  16. Looking forward to the movie. But don't forget Smokie, “the not-so-rich-and-famous brother of one of the finest clinicians and horsemen in the country, if not the world”

    www.smokiebrannaman.com/

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  17. I can't wait to see this movie!

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  18. Great trailer. For sure I want to see this movie.

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  19. Too bad we can't ALL get together and go to the movies!

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  20. Thank you for the info. I had not heard of the movie. I will make it to one of the Colorado showings.

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  21. Thanks so much for posting the trailer...I didn't even know this was coming out.

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  22. Oh rats! No movie close....

    Letterman? Will need to stay up late!

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  23. I really want to see this!

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  24. Keep spreading the word about the movie...I am hoping it gets an Oscar nod for feature-length documentary!

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  25. I'm so excited - it's opening near me on July 1 too! Thanks for posting the link. I'm dying to see this. I know you've written before about your personal experiences in his clinic, but I'd love to hear more - especially after you see the film and we get the 7MSN review of it.

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  26. It's not playing anywhere near me! Hells Bells and shotgun shells; but I will keep an eye out for when it hits videos for sale because I would LOVE to own it! I've owned a number of "difficult" horses thru no fault of their own; assuming that was the way they were trained with their prior owners and they didn't know what they were doing either! So I'm looking forward to also finding his website as well. Thank you for such an awesome post! Teresa

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