The ravishing fourth feature from Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) is a resplendent portrait of a lonely neglected boy on a quest for home. 15-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) has rarely stayed in the same place for more than a year. Taking a part-time job with a cantankerous and not entirely on the up-and-up horse trainer, Del (Steve Buscemi), Charley forms a deep bond with both Del's assistant Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) and their nearly-knackered racehorse, Lean on Pete.
Charlie Plummer is soulfully good in the lead role – his talks to the horse providing a tender and insightful interior monologue. And 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. 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.