Haigh has proven himself a keen observer of human behavior with his films "45 Years" and "Weekend," as well as the HBO series "Looking." Bringing these skills to an incisive adaptation of Willy Vlautin's novel, Haigh powerfully unfurls a coming-of-age story. Charley lives with his single dad Ray (Travis Fimmel) in Portland, Oregon following a recent move from Spokane, Washington that helps to explain the boy's rootlessness. Friendless and having lost track of the sympathetic aunt he longs for, the coltish Charley is distinctly prone to the unconditional love on offer from a majestic beast like Lean on Pete.
On a morning run, Charley discovers the aging racehorse at the Portland Downs racetrack, where gruff, profane trainer Del (Steve Buscemi) offers the boy employment. Del and Pete's jockey Bonnie (Chlo
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