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Sundance 2011: Can the documentary 'Buck' pull a 'Blind Side'?

January 24, 2011 |  4:00 am


Is it possible that a documentary film could cross enough cultural, geographic and demographic lines to become a mainstream phenomenon, without a political agenda or shock value? That's the question L.A. Times film critic Betsy Sharkey is asking at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

If ever a documentary had that everyman potential, she says, it is "Buck," a film with a sensibility like "The Blind Side" that some might underestimate for its plainspoken power.

A quintessential up-by-the-bootstraps story about a man who actually wears boots that have straps, "Buck" is the tale of a charismatic real-life horse whisperer, an earthy, soft-spoken philosopher who can tame troubled souls, be they man or beast. According to Sharkey, he's the kind of unsung hero that America loves to love. Read more here, and check back in the coming days for an interview with Buck Brannaman.

Photo: A scene from "Buck." Credit: Cindy Meehl