I have a had a life-long love of the arts; enjoying theatre, ballet, art and movies. We are all time poor and have limits to our entertainment budget so I hope an honest review will help make your choices easier.
Published September 6th 2019
This film will capture your heart
Do you remember the 2015 Melbourne Cup? I do. My heart was in my mouth and I cried when Michelle Payne made history as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. What a proud moment not only for her and her loved ones but really, for all Australians. When she left the main track and her brother Stevie reached up to lead Prince of Penzance away, we all had a hint that Michelle may have an interesting story to tell.
Ride Like A Girl directed by renowned Australian actor and now director Rachel Griffiths beautifully captures Michelle's heart-warming and inspiring story.
As a little girl, Michelle Payne (Teresa Palmer) dreamt of winning the Melbourne Cup—horse-racing's toughest two-mile race. The youngest of 10 children, Michelle was raised by her widowed father Paddy (Sam Neill). Much to the horror of the Loreto College Vice-Principal (Magda Szubanski), Michelle left school at 15 to become a jockey.
After battling to find a place in this male-dominated sport, Michelle finally finds her feet. Then, as is often the case in these truly inspirational stories, Michelle must face even more hurdles. Following a devastating family tragedy, Michelle takes a near-fatal fall with her horse. She finds herself in hospital with life-threatening fractures and a serious head injury; all of which should have been the end to her dreams. But with the love of her dad (Sam Neill) and her brother Stevie (played by Stevie), Michelle doesn't give up. Against the wishes of her siblings and all the medical advice, Michelle continues to dream and to dare. When Stevie and Michelle meet Prince of Penzance, they fall in love and the fates of a horse, strapper and jockey are sealed. Together they each overcome near-impossible odds for a shot at the dream. With the odds set at 100 to 1, Michelle, with Stevie as her strapper, rides Prince of Penzance in the 2015 Melbourne Cup; and as they say.... the rest is history.
While I agree with the ever insightful Magda, I would also say that this film transcends the feminist agenda. Michelle's is a story of a beautiful Australian family who surrounds each other in love to overcome the toughest of odds. Hers is also a story of a champion—ever willing to push herself through the seemingly impossible and to sacrifice all to achieve a dream. When I watched the original race my heart was in my mouth. When I watched it again, knowing the fullness of this lovely story, I thought my heart may burst.
Ride Like A Girl is an absolute success and is sure to become an Australian classic. It will be released in cinemas across Australia by Transmission Films on September 26, 2019. You could also treat yourself to an early screening and Q&A session with Rachel Griffiths at Event Cinemas Chermside Wednesday, September 11 at 6:30pm. Tickets available here.
Brilliant acting, a very moving & inspirational film, i would recommend it to anyone & everyone. Though it brought tears to my eyes i feel joyful for having seen it. Beautiful, congratulations to the whole cast especially the director!