Dream Horse Parent Guide
Reaching for your dreams gives you lots of room to grow.
Parent Movie Review
Many a desperate soul has tried to solve their problems by betting on the horses – but few have done so in such a unique way as Jan Vokes.
Even working two jobs, Jan (played by Toni Collette) can barely afford to take care of her aging parents, out-of-work husband (Owen Teale), large dog and collection of stray animals. While trying to ignore the monotony and thanklessness of her situation, she happens to overhear a conversation at the local pub.
Although the pint of beer Howard Davis (Damian Lewis) was drinking at the time may have embellished his story, Jan learns the ordinary man with a regular day job used to own a racehorse. Usually a hobby of the rich, Howard was able to move in the elite circles of thoroughbreds and wealthy patrons because he was part of a syndicate.
Jan is intrigued by the idea of group of people owning one animal. Undaunted by her lack of knowledge of the sport or of its equine competitors, Jan couples her enthusiasm with a little research and comes up with a plan. First, she needs a horse. A search in the classified ads turns up a retired, pedigreed mare being sold at a discounted price. The next steps are to breed the female with a champion male, then raise and train the prospective colt. But stud fees, stable fees and professional handling all require a lot of money.
Through persistence, Jan manages to talk Howard into coming on board to share his business expertise, even though he estimates their odds of success at about one percent. Eventually, despite the economic dression of their small Welsh community, Jan and Howard also round up about twenty other townsfolk who will make a small donation each week with the promise of splitting any future winnings.
Obviously, the alliance that backs Jan and Howard’s foal would have had a greater chance of making a profit if they had just put their money down on already proven horses. However, the gamble they are taking is about more than winning, losing and financial gains. Aptly named, Dream represents a reason for each of his sponsors to find hope again.
And that is the point of this movie too. Even though some family viewers may struggle with its endorsement of the racing industry, betting or the amount of alcohol drunk throughout, few will be able to fault the film’s good intentions. Based on a true story, Dream Horse depicts the faith it takes to explore risks, the courage needed to face failure, and the growth that comes to those who chose to run the race.Directed by Euros Lyn. Starring Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, and Owen Teale. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release May 21, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for Dream Horse
Rating & Content Info
Why is Dream Horse rated PG? Dream Horse is rated PG by the MPAA for language and thematic elements.
Violence: Horses become injured and/or die in races and during birthing. An animal with a bloody wound becomes frantic and has to be restrained. Euthanasia is discussed and a gun used for that purpose is shown. Jockeys are thrown off of horses when the animals take tumbles during jumps. A character lies to family members. Characters argue with one another. A father speaks unkindly of his son-in-law. Death and grief are depicted. Lyrics in a song describe a murder.
Sexual Content: The script contains some mild sexual remarks, slang words and humor, especially when discussing horse breeding and animal castration. Some fluctuance jokes are heard. An unwed pregnancy is mentioned. A man is seen in his underwear.
Profanity: The script contains frequent mild profanity and terms of deity. Moderate profanity, name-calling and sexual slang terms are used infrequently.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink throughout the film, especially in pubs and at times of celebration. One character appears to be an alcoholic and is teased about his drinking.
Other: Characters participate in gambling.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
Dream Horse Parents' Guide
One of the challenges Jan faces is never being seen for who she is. What roles has she had to play in the past? What are her family’s expectations of her? Why do you think it is important to her to discover her own identity? Have you had similar experiences?
Because Dream Alliance is owned by a syndicate, the animal is considered by some to be a business asset. Others are more invested in the horse. How do these different perspectives affect the way the owners make decisions for his care? Which group do you think you belong to? How do you feel about industries based on living creatures?
One of the characters observes, “We can’t stop ourselves from dreaming of better things.” Yet another claims he’s “happy enough”. Are you content with your life situation? Or are you always looking for something more? What motivates you to get up each morning?
Learn more about the real life and career of Dream Alliance.