The Horse Whisperer
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Time Out saysRedford's Tom Booker is nothing less than the perfect man: stoical, wise, warm, at home in the world, ruggedly handsome and - most poignantly - ultimately elusive. This is horseshit. Redford is a thoughtful, attentive director, but where The Bridges of Madison County recognised that romance takes two, this movie, based on the novel by Nicholas Evans, is altogether more solipsistic - it's a film-maker's love letter to himself. Scott Thomas does her best with a severely compromised post-feminist role as a careerist wife and mother, who drives across country to throw herself at the feet of horse trainer Booker. Her daughter (Johansson) is recovering from a riding accident which killed her friend and traumatised her horse. Tom tames the daughter first, then mother, and finally the quadruped - but patiently, over two and three-quarter painstakingly elongated hours of gorgeous scenery and weather to die for. Scott Thomas can only squint at her co-star, halo'd against yet another sunset: these are the aesthetics of the shampoo commercial, soft soap for adolescent girls of all ages.