Robert Redford directed himself for the first time in this romantic drama adapted from the 1995 best-seller by Nicholas Evans. Fourteen-year-old Grace MacLean (Scarlett Johansson of Manny & Lo) and her friend Judith go horseback riding in upstate New York on a winter morning, but their horses lose their footing on ice and slide onto a road, where Judith and her horse are killed by a jackknifing truck. Grace and her horse are also seriously injured -- doctors must amputate Grace's right leg -- and the frightening incident leaves a lasting trauma not only on Grace but also on her horse, Pilgrim. Grace's mother -- magazine editor Annie MacLean (Kristin Scott Thomas) -- seeking Grace's recovery, feels there's a link between her crippled, embittered daughter and Pilgrim's behavior. Learning about a horse trainer with a special gift, she takes Grace and Pilgrim to Montana where horse whisperer Tom Booker (Robert Redford) lives on a ranch with his younger brother Frank (Chris Cooper), Frank's wife Diane (Dianne Wiest) and their children. Tom's work with the horse also has a rejuvenating effect on the guilt-ridden Grace. Annie loses her magazine job, and the low-key romantic involvement between Annie and Tom develops during the summer, stifled by the unexpected arrival of Annie's husband, Robert MacLean (Sam Neill). Screenplay by Eric Roth and Richard LaGravenese (who adapted The Bridges of Madison County). Filmed in Montana and Saratoga Springs, New York.
by Bhob Stewart synopsis