FILM REVIEW | Dream Horse

You always know what you're in for with a sporting true story.

A triumph over adversity, come from behind success story, unbridled joy.

The formula doesn't change for new film Dream Horse.

The charming and inspiring movie tells the true story of champion Welsh racehorse Dream Alliance and his unusual rise to fame.

Tired of her dead-end life in a small, uninspiring hometown in Wales, supermarket/bar worker Jan Vokes decides to give herself and husband Brian (also known as Daisy) a new project to sink their teeth into - breeding a racehorse.

Jan, played wonderfully by Aussie Toni Collette, sets about securing a broodmare and organising a stud - all she needs now is the financial backing of a syndicate to raise the funds for the future horse's upkeep.

Rallying the eclectic townsfolk, including Howard Davis (Damian Lewis, Homeland) who previously had a share in a winning horse, Jan forms a syndicate and Dream Alliance is soon born.

Inspiring story: Tony Collette stars as Welsh horse owner/breeder Jan Vokes in the story of champion steed Dream Alliance, Dream Horse, rated PG, in cinemas now. Picture: Sony Pictures Releasing

Inspiring story: Tony Collette stars as Welsh horse owner/breeder Jan Vokes in the story of champion steed Dream Alliance, Dream Horse, rated PG, in cinemas now. Picture: Sony Pictures Releasing

Howard warns everyone they shouldn't get involved with the promise of winnings (as there's a very slim chance their foal will grow into a champion) but instead for the 'hwyl' - a Welsh word which means a 'stirring feeling of emotional motivation and energy'.

And it's that hwyl that carries the group through Dream Alliance missing its first start and still finishing fourth, through to becoming a genuine contender.

The Welsh public is enthralled by the story of this horse, owned by a group of everyday folk, raised on an allotment (not a farm, paddock or row of stables in sight) and eventually trained by a prominent trainer.

It's clear that Dream Alliance's tale is one of great pride for the Welsh, as the film is brimming with patriotism. It does make one wonder what the Welsh public thinks of an Australian - even one as tremendously talented, and seemingly proficient at speaking with a Welsh accent, as Toni Collette - playing the lead character.

Regardless, Dream Horse is thoroughly enjoyable for a film of its type, with plenty of singalongs to be had (there's more than one rendition of Tom Jones classic Delilah).

Great for horse-racing fans.

Rating: 7/10