Jan Vokes (Toni Colette) works as a check-out operator by day and a bartender by night in a small, run-down Welsh village. Tired of her mundane life, Jan dreams of something different and comes up with the plan of breeding a racehorse. Using £300 she has saved, Jan buys a brood mare and convinces her husband Brian and 20 villagers, including tax accountant and former syndicate member Howard (Damian Lewis), to join a syndicate to pay a stud fee and later a trainer.
A foal is born, and the syndicate names him Dream Alliance, but he has a low chance of ever winning a race. Jan sees something in him and takes him to the best trainer in the county (Nicholas Farrell). The trainer initially dismisses Dream and his humble beginnings, but Jan persists and the trainer soon notices a spirit in Dream. He agrees to train Dream on a trial basis. Before long, Dream is not only racing but winning.
When a terrible accident threatens to derail everything the syndicate has worked for, its members must ask themselves what’s truly important. It looks like Dream might never race again, but he survives and his resilience inspires a nation.
Gambling; alcoholism; elitism; teen pregnancy
There is no violence in Dream Horse.
Dream Horse has some sexual references. For example:
- Jan tells Brian that she’s having an affair.
- A character says, ‘Tits up’.
- Brian tells Jan he should have watched the stallion mate with the mare. Jan replies, ‘Would you want someone watching?’ Brian says, ‘I’m no stallion’, and Jan responds, ‘You can say that again’.
- Jan’s father holds a grudge against Brian for getting Jan pregnant when she was only 17.
- When a character is told that his fly is open, he responds with, ‘The cave may be open but the beast is asleep’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Dream Horse shows some use of substances. For example:
- Characters drink frequently, including in the local pub and at meetings. Wine and champagne are served at races. One character is always drunk.
- A character sprays beer all over patrons at a race and tries to smuggle drinks inside the venue.
- Characters drink in a bus on the way to and from a race.
- Jan pours and serves beer from a tap at the bar.
Nudity and sexual activity
Dream Horse has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A character catches the bus with his pants only half on and his underwear still showing.
- The same character strips down to his underwear in a bar. He’s later seen dancing in the street wearing only his skivvy and a flag.
The following products are displayed or used in Dream Horse: English Tea Cakes and Fairy laundry detergent.
There is some coarse language in Dream Horse, including ‘bastard’, ‘bloody’, ‘bollocks’, ‘sod off’ and ‘pillock’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Dream Horse is a feel-good drama based on a true story. Not suitable for younger audiences, it’s best suited to older children and adults and is likely to be enjoyed by viewers who love horses or stories about defying the odds.
The main messages from Dream Horse are to follow your dreams, do what you were born to do, have hope and always give second chances.
Values in Dream Horse that you could reinforce with your children include teamwork, perseverance, integrity, hope, respect and dedication.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk about the real-life consequences of things like:
- thinking only about money rather than the quality of life
- gambling – it’s great if you win but what happens if you lose?
- assuming that people are inferior if they don’t have much money
- drinking too much alcohol.