The Rider is a heartbreaking portrayal of those who can and cannot give up, of those living broken lives with broken dreams and broken hopes.
How do you get an actor (Denzel Washington) and a director (Antoine Fuqua) both known for their sequel aversion to do a sequel like The Equalizer 2? Convince them your doing a remake and tell them that it is a modern day western, even though only the final shootout is horse opera resonant— and it is a straight up revenge thriller.
Damsel is probably the best of a trio of feminist Westerns to grace the big and and small screen this year.
By foregrounding the true story of Caroline Weldon (Jessica Chastain) an activist and actual portraitist of Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes), the director (Susanna White, an HBO veteran) and screenwriter (Steven Knight, Allied) insert artsiness in an attempt to elevate Woman Walks Ahead beyond its Western cliches.