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Lean on Pete

Andrew Haigh’s ravishing and mournful fourth feature sees a boy and a horse embark on a Huckleberry Finn-esque journey across America in search of home.


Dir-Scr Andrew Haigh
Prod Tristan Goligher
With Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny
UK Distribution Curzon Artificial Eye

Ravishing and doleful in equal measure, Andrew Haigh’s fourth feature is a resplendent portrait of a lonely neglected boy on a quest for home. While Haigh continues to make exciting, unexpected choices of material – Lean on Pete is adapted from Willy Vlautin’s acclaimed novel about a Huckleberry Finn-esque journey across America’s sparse Northwest – this shares DNA with his last two features, skilfully making intimate emotional journeys epic, and the personal universal. 15-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) has rarely stayed in the same place for more than a year. Having been left by his mother as a child, he lives with his father who loves him but doesn’t understand just how much Charley craves and needs stability (not to mention food). He longingly remembers his aunt, who fell out with her brother. But her whereabouts are unknown. Taking a part-time job with a cantankerous and not entirely on the up-and-up horse trainer (Steve Buscemi), he forms a deep bond with nearly-knackered horse Lean on Pete. Charlie Plummer is soulfully good in the lead role – his talks to the horse providing a tender and insightful interior monologue. We knew it already, but Lean on Pete once again confirms Haigh’s versatility and cements his reputation as one of the great cinematic storytellers of his generation.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Andrew Haigh, Director; Charlie Plummer, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

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