How a cowboy like Buck Brannaman does what he does may be a little mystifying for those who'll still be corralled be a man who definitely knows his way around the margins of life. It still may have some trouble reaching city slickers not easily attuned to the nuances of life on the ranch with campers and horse trailers.
Buck is a well-accoutered documentary about the person who was a stunt double and consultant and presumably help fashioned Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer. Brannaman has been driven in a way to establish his unusual, if fascinating erudition. One thing is for certain, his passion and patience in finding his way as a cowboy through a supreme love and respect of horses. The Sundance Kid in Redford is aboard to spur along the sly sensibility of a different kind of natural.
Early in his life he got into the rodeo circuit having done a television commercial and professional trick roping. He was a protege of the esteemed horse trainer Ray Hunt, and really learned a lot from the authority of "Natural Horsemanship," honing techniques into a life of four-day clinics on the road over three-quarters of a year.
A scary childhood at the hands of an alcoholic father led to Buck and his brother confiscated by the Sheriff well after the death of their long-suffering, protective mother. Maybe he was whipped into a life of keeping it all simple and understanding what "it's" telling him.
The family man spends part of the summer with a daughter and his wife meets up with him when she can, as he espouses his effective, uncomplicated candor with equines who are influenced by human behavior.
In Buck each one is specific to itself and its manner of expression. When a horse is troubled more often than not it's not the right kind of human signals relayed its way. Even though the austere approach to training is more commonly thought as how it's done, Brannaman goes out of his way to speak to hoofed creatures in need of easy rapport, and his sensible instructional means have a way beyond horses.
Cindy Meehl's direction nearly matches its subject's presumptuous nature as the results of the patient trainer's work often paying off. Some may not like scenes where danger is imminent for animals who haven't been communicated well enough. A heartfelt, appealing true account is warmly composed and photographed by two lensers and has much clarity into an invaluable, inspirational problem-solver and role model less compassionate to stubborn folks.