There’s a moment in this horseracing flick when broken-legged gee-gee Soñador, suspended above ground, shoots a “Make it stop!” look to camera.
She has a point. When jaded trainer Ben Crane (Kurt Russell) decides to save the crocked nag, he and daughter Cale (Dakota Fanning) embark on a syrupy-sweet personal journey which sees an unhappy family reunited by their mutual horsey love. By the time Soñador’s galloping again, and ready to compete in the coveted Breeders’ Cup, squinting Kurt & Co are all smiles again.
Loosely based on a true story, first-time director John Gatins never convincingly covers the characters’ background but then no one will really notice. Dreamer is rarely adequate, dewy-eyed fluff for all the family that’s only spoiled by the gore employed in the horse’s horrible, shattering demise at the end. Nah, not really.