Black Beauty | Movie Review

15year old Audry (Jennifer McKenzie ) invites you into her world as she tells her story of finding a horse in need of rescue, as well as needing a little bit of rescuing herself.

In a city where Audry feels like the odd one out, she is used to being rejected by the popular girls, but it doesn’t take away the sting. She has no friends to tell of but finds her comfort in her ‘angel’ of a mum (Sarah Ann Shultz – The River Murders), over-protective father (Luke Perry – 90210) and the love she has for animals. With fond memories of her grandfather’s farm, her heart belongs in the country.

The closest Audry can get to country life in the city, is volunteering at an animal shelter when she isn’t at high school. Audry finds herself drawn to an abused horse that was rescued by the shelter. She takes it upon herself to care for the horse and names the injured black horse ‘Beauty’. But when serious injuries are found on Beauty, the veterinarian recommends putting him down.

Devastated, Audry rejects his decision and in her desperate quest to keep Beauty alive, she contacts her grandfather (Bruce Davison – Words and Pictures), who organises to have Beauty transferred to his farm. As Audry commits herself to the rehabilitation of Beauty, she learns the great amount of work that is involved to save him, and gives up her summer to devote every moment to his recovery.

Not only does Beauty have physical injuries, but due to the abuse suffered at the hand of her previous owner, Beauty reacts negatively to sunshine. It is Audry’s goal to get Beauty out of the stables and into the paddocks.

As Beauty learns to trust his new owner, he begins to heal physically and emotionally, and he is not the only one. Audry also finds healing in the friends she makes on the farm, and the bond that grows between her and her grandfather helps to connect a fractured family.

When an opportunity arises to enter Beauty in a competition, Audry takes up the challenge. With only seven weeks to prepare, Audry accepts the offer of friends Josh and his sister Tally to help. Beauty makes good progress and Audry develops a teenage crush on Josh.

There is always an antagonist to stir things up, and Audry finds that there are mean girls in the country too. The local mean girl has won the annual contest many years in a row and tries her hardest to make Audry’s quest as difficult as possible.

Although Audry’s efforts are tireless, things don’t turn out quite as planned, but with determination and persistence, Audry finds they turn out better for her and Beauty in the long run.

Healing takes time and is often ongoing, but the love and support of loved ones and friends and their devotion to stick by each other, is the support that will see them through.

For those who love horses, or are looking for a movie for the whole family, Black Beauty is one to add to your list. You may even be inspired to take a ride in the country.

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