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Charlie Plummer plays Charley Thompson in the new movie Lean on Pete, getting a limited release this week. Charley lives with his father as the two of them travel one place to another as dictated by his father’s ability to find work. When they arrive in Portland Charley gets work at a local racetrack where he meets Del (Steve Buscemi), the owner of a horse named Lean on Pete as well as the horse’s jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny). Everything is going well as Charley feels some attention and acceptance.
Unfortunately he learns Lean on Pete is destined for the slaughterhouse soon. Unable to imagine the horse meeting that fate and unwilling to accept another change, Charley takes the horse and sets off on his own, searching for an aunt he only vaguely knows in the hopes she’ll provide both sanctuary and stability. That leads to a series of adventures that mean Charley has a lot of growing up to do quickly.