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Lean on Pete
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Lean on Pete

In a festival that is offering a good number of thesis films -from the consumerist and environmental debacle of ‘Una vida a lo grande’ (‘Downzising’) to the acceptance of the difference in ‘La forma del agua’-, a film as ‘Lean on Pete’, the new work of the young British filmmaker Andrew Haigh, gives us back the delicacy of good character cinema: one in which the psychology of history and the physical relationship of the actors with the scenarios that surround them they are everything. The fourth film by the director of the very British ‘Greek Pete’, ‘Weekend’ and ’45 years’, is the first incursion of Haigh in the American landscape and culture, specifically, the marginal side of Portland, Oregon. There they share a filthy Charley apartment (Charlie Plummer, a discovery) and his womanizing father. Dragged into idleness by the lack of stimuli, Charley sees the light when he starts working for Del (Steve Buscemi), a caretaker of second (or third) row horses. It seems that Charley opens a horizon of calm, but the father’s tendency to get into trouble will break this serene utopia.

Posed as a permanent game between stasis and movement – characters that do not stop moving but who live stagnant due to their afflictions and traumas -, ‘Lean on Pete’ is recreated in the gait of its protagonists, in its laconic talks and in its discreet exchanges Affective At a certain moment, the young Charley, only 16 years old, decides to take to the road in search of peace and freedom; a territory, that of the road movie, new and to a certain extent alien to Haigh. A distance that allows the English to approach the imaginary and the Yankee landscapes in an original way. In the most powerful image of the film, Charley’s face, submerged up to his neck in a lake, near Lean on Pete, gives way, through a prolonged cast in chains, to a monumental postcard of the desert (one of the most original and powerful since that of ‘Meek’s Cutoff, by Kelly Reichardt, in which the horizon line emerged from the interior of a river). ‘Lean on Pete’ asordinates the epic and romantic content of the classic Yankee initiation tale: as a miniature ‘White Fang’ or a ‘On the Road’ without euphoria, Charley’s odyssey fits the humble character and discreet attitude of the protagonist. Willy Vlautin, the author of the novel in which the film is based.

Duration: 121 min


IMDb: 7.4

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