Dreamer is a 2005 American family drama film starring Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning, inspired by the true story of an injured Thoroughbred racehorse named Mariah's Storm. It marked the directing and screenwriting debut of John Gatins.
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Inspired by a true story, Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning star as the father and daughter who lack a much needed bond. Ben (Kurt Russell), a horse trainer who takes his work very seriously, neglects his own aspiring daughter while he pours his heart into the care of the horses that he trains.
Determined to make good on her father's overdue promise, Cale (Dakota Fanning) prods him one morning to take her along to work by standing in front of his pickup truck just as he starts to head out to the track. Ben, reluctant at first, finally gives in and drives off with her in tow.
Throughout the movie Cale continues to prod her father to take her along on some of his work trips, and succeeds. One morning, however, while with her father, a horse named Soñador falls during a race, injuring herself badly enough that Ben's boss, Palmer, demands the horse be put down. Having Cale along, Ben refuses and strikes a bargain with Palmer. Ben, now the owner of a wounded horse, with no job and facing foreclosure on his estate, decides to breed Soñador.
Cale, having fallen in love at first sight of Soñador before the accident, begins to sneak out to the barn at night to see her. Cale also sneaks over to see her grandfather, 'Pops', Ben's dad (Kris Kristofferson), who loves teaching his young and aspiring horse-loving granddaughter all about horses.
One day, overhearing her father's conversation with her mother, Lily (Elisabeth Shue), Cale hears her father say that Soñador has ruined them, to which Lily emotionally responds that Soñador is the best thing that has ever happened to them, alluding to the fact that Ben has finally been spending much needed time with Cale.
Emotionally hurt after hearing the conversation, Cale sets out to run away and saddles up Soñador. Not knowing of Cale's plan, Ben enters the barn. The door slams behind him just as his eye catches Cale's, sitting atop Soñador. Suddenly startled, Soñador bolts out of the barn with wide-eyed and terrified Cale gripping her bridle and hanging on for dear life. Ben scrambles to his truck and sets out after them.
This incident begins to cement the newly-forming bond between father and daughter, and also begins to heal the wounds of the whole family that had grown over the years. Soñador goes from being a negative focal point to the hero of the movie.
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