(France/Belgium - 2019)
Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Written by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Mona Fastvold, Brock Norman Brock and Benjamin Charbit. Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jason Mitchell, Bruce Dern, Connie Britton, Gideon Adlon, Josh Stewart, Noel Gugliemi, Thomas Smittle, Keith Johnson. (R, 96 mins)
Initially developed at the Sundance Institute (Robert Redford is among the truckload of credited producers), THE MUSTANG is the debut of French actress-turned-filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-SEC), and if you're a guy who like a good UMBERTO D, BRIAN'S SONG or FIELD OF DREAMS man-weepie, then you're gonna want to see this one right away. Incarcerated at Nevada State Prison for the last 12 years, Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Only able to express himself through rage and violence, he's spent most of his prison time in solitary confinement, preferring to be alone and resorting to behaviors and actions that he knows will keep him isolated from the other inmates. "I'm not good with people," he mumbles the prison psychologist (Connie Britton), who's prepping him for his latest return to general population from solitary. She assigns him to work on the outdoor maintenance crew, shoveling piles of shit from the prison's horse-training program, funded by the state as a rehabilitation technique and to fill a demand for captured wild mustangs to be properly trained and groomed to sell at auction. The program is run by elderly rancher Myles (Bruce Dern), who's earned the respect of the inmates under his charge and repays it in kind, with inmate Henry (Jason Mitchell) designated the head trainer.