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Dark Horse 

Wednesday, May 11 2016
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Louise Osmond's documentary Dark Horse is a true story just begging to become a Feel Good Movie —Disney, Sports Division — though hopefully they would give it a less trite title that hasn't already been used multiple times in this decade alone, including another film released just last month. The true hero of this iteration of Dark Horse is Janet Vokes, a barmaid in the South Wales town of Blackwood. Armed with a deep knowledge of animal breeding and a deeper well of resolve, Janet rallies her community to go in on a racehorse, considered an impossible dream because horse racing has long been considered the province of the obscenely wealthy. Janet and the other villagers form the Alliance Partnership to raise the money to breed their dream horse, which they name Dream Alliance (which would have been a much better movie title) and which goes on to exceed everyone's wildest expectations, including winning the Welsh Grand National in 2009 after 16 months of recovery from an injury that was repaired by stem-cell surgery.The unquestionably uplifting Dark Horse is halfway to being a narrative film as it is, re-creating many scenes both profoundly emotional and deeply silly, including a wall-eyed barfly taking off his shirt to celebrate the Grand National victory. You're welcome, ladies!

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Sherilyn Connelly

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