Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Thursday, October 14, 2021


“Jockey,” the debut feature from director Clint Bentley, is a character study. In other words, it’s a movie that’s not story-driven. Instead, it’s focused on creating a mood and pulling the viewer into the world of horse jockeys, offering up a slice of life point of view as protagonist Jackson Silva (Clifton Collins Jr.) deals with some personal issues.

Bentley drops viewers into the world of Jackson, who has been a jockey for years, currently riding for Ruth Wilkes (Molly Parker). By this point, Jackson’s in the swan song of his career. He’s had multiple injuries, some so bad they’ve left lasting damage to his body. As a result, he is no longer in the best shape for riding. Collins gives a very physical performance, shifting his body (make sure to take a look at his hands) to showcase a man who’s desperately clinging to the life he knows despite warnings from those around him and signs from his own body. His performance is one of the main reasons to view this film.

This story isn’t solely about an aging jockey. A young jockey named Gabriel (Moises Arias) comes into Jackson’s life claiming to be his son. This revelation is first met with incredulity before Jackson begins to grow accustomed to the idea, taking the jockey under his wing and showing him the ropes. Bentley spends the majority of the film’s runtime examining this relationship. It’s used to show Jackson’s mental transformation as he comes to terms with the end of his career. There is also a side story featuring a relationship with Ruth that leads to its own troubles. Secrets can only be kept for so long, especially when Jackson is trying to keep them (his health problems) from his boss (Ruth) who is also a close friend.

The remainder of the cast is made up of first-time actors many of whom are from the world of horse racing. This helps add a sense of authenticity to the film as we see Jackson interact with his co-workers in the racing venue and in help groups that he attends devoted to injured jockeys. The world of “Jockey” is grounded in a harsh reality. Bentley gives “Jockey” a suitably melancholic tone. Everything from its acting to its cinematography works together to establish the mood. The photography contains multiple shots at the “magic hour,” highlighting silhouetted foregrounds with beautifully colored skies for backdrops.

“Jockey” isn’t going to win any awards for originality. It has a been there done that feel to it. We’ve all seen sports movies with similar themes. What makes this movie stand out, and make it worthy of a watch, is the performance from lead actor Clifton Collins Jr.

(Review by Bret Oswald)

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