The Longest Ride (film)
The Longest Ride is a 2015 American Neo Western romantic drama film directed by George Tillman Jr. and written by Craig Bolotin. Based on Nicholas Sparks' 2013 novel of the same name, the film stars Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Alan Alda, Melissa Benoist, Lolita Davidovich, and Gloria Reuben. The film was released on April 10, 2015 by 20th Century Fox.
|The Longest Ride|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Tillman Jr.|
|Screenplay by||Craig Bolotin|
|Based on||The Longest Ride|
by Nicholas Sparks
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Edited by||Jason Ballantine|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$65 million|
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Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) is a bull rider on the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) tour, who is seriously injured one night while performing, riding a top ranked bull named Rango. A year later after recovering, he starts riding again and meets Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson) after she attends the show. She is an art lover living at a sorority house with an internship secured in New York City. On the way home from their first date, they spot a car crash in the woods and help rescue an older man who is stuck inside. Sophia also pulls a wicker box from the vehicle.
While in the hospital, Sophia continuously visits the 91-year old man she rescued, Ira Levinson (Alan Alda). He explains that some letters are in the box, which he wrote as a teenager, and she offers to read them to him. They tell the story of how he met his late wife, Ruth (Oona Chaplin), on April 10, 1940. Their stories start to interweave. Luke finds an old photograph of Ira and Ruth that fell out of the box in his car, and takes it to him at the hospital. In flashbacks, Ruth tells a young Ira that she wants a big family, and eventually, he proposes to her before leaving to fight in World War II. However, Ira is shot during an attack and is later informed by the doctor that he can no longer have children, news that causes distance between Ruth and him when he returns, as he knows how much she wants to be a mother. They decide to make it work regardless and move in together, decorating the house with many paintings that Ruth and he love more than anything.
Luke continues riding bulls, no matter the risk of being hurt again, while Sophia and he fall in love. Ira is now out of the hospital and has been moved to a nursing home, where Sophia continues to visit. She gets a call from her boss in New York asking her to attend an art exhibit in Charlotte the following week, to which she invites Luke. While they are there, Luke makes a rude comment to Sophia's boss, which causes an argument between them. They talk about how their worlds are so different and Luke does not feel that their romance will work out because of it. Back home, Sophia goes to Ira for advice. Ira then tells the story of how he and Ruth made their situation work. He and Ruth both wanted a big family, but after being wounded in the war, Ira was unable to have children, and he felt as though he had failed Ruth. Ruth was a schoolteacher who became very attached to a young boy named Daniel McDonald in her class. Because Daniel lives with his uncaring half-brother and his wife, Ira and she begin taking him in as their own, and Ruth later decides to officially adopt him as her son, but his hardhearted relatives would not allow it.
Meanwhile, Luke injures himself again, causing him to be rushed to the hospital. As Sophia is leaving for New York, she gets a call and goes to see him. Luke is advised not to ride again, but refuses to accept that his career is over. Following an argument, Luke and Sophia break up. In flashbacks, Ira and Ruth also break up because she cannot see a life with him without children in their future. However, weeks later, Ruth returns and they confess their love for one another. One morning, now 80 years old, Ira wakes up to find Ruth has died in her sleep. He boxes up all of the paintings they collected together to sell them at an auction. One night, a woman knocks on his door, claiming to be the wife of Daniel McDonald, the child they almost adopted when they were younger, to inform him that Daniel, who later became a professor of physics and astronomy in Britain, has died. She gives him a portrait of Ruth that Daniel had painted and the photograph Daniel had kept of Ira and Ruth (the one Luke found in his car the day of the crash) with a message on the back that reads: "Ruth Levinson, third grade teacher. She told me I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up". Daniel became a professor of astronomy in memory of his favorite teacher.
Sophia continues her studies at Wake Forest and Luke continues to ride bulls. One day, they are both contacted by Ira's attorney, Sophia receiving a phone call while in class and Luke opening a registered letter after a difficult ride, to inform them that Ira has died and that an auction will be held for the paintings in his collection. Luke wins his last ride, finally conquering Rango, and wins the championship bullriding cup, but feels disappointed because Sophia is not there to share it with him. He then decides to go to the auction, where he somewhat unexpectedly meets Sophia.
Luke buys the first painting, Daniel's childhood "Portrait of Ruth". Unlike the other paintings and pieces that are on the scheduled auction list, this first painting is not a professional work and is only in the auction - and listed first - because of Ira's love for her, and his specific instructions that this painting be sold first. Luke makes the only bid, getting it for only $600.00. Most of the other art is assumed to be far more valuable and will probably go for far more money, and as this is the only painting Luke can afford, he bids on it out of his love and affection for both Ira and Sophia, only after no one else bothers to bid on this "amateur" work of art.
As Luke goes to the back to pay the auctioneer, Sophia and Luke talk and he tells her he will not ride anymore because what he really wants is to be with her for the rest of his life. As they reconcile with a kiss, an uproar breaks out in the auction room. The auctioneer announces that a codicil in Ira's will exists regarding the auction. First ensuring that Luke has paid for the painting of Ruth and checking the receipt, he reads the codicil which simply states, "sharing these paintings was the greatest joy of my life....and the true gift was the journey of love and life we shared together. Portrait of Ruth may not be the most valuable painting in my collection, but it was the most precious to me because it reminded me daily of my beloved Ruth. And so, the terms of my will are simple; whoever purchases her portrait will receive my collection in its entirety."  Luke becomes owner of the entire collection, worth almost $200 million. Sophia and he now hold together the trust of love that binds all of Ira's paintings together.
One year later, Luke and Sophia, now married, have built a museum dedicated to Ira and Ruth and their paintings. Luke takes Sophia to the old college where Ira and Ruth used to spend their wedding anniversary. They sit under the same tree and read Ira's letters together.
- Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins
- Britt Robertson as Sophia Collins (née Danko)
- Alan Alda as Ira Levinson
- Melissa Benoist as Marcia
- Jack Huston as Young Ira
- Oona Chaplin as Ruth
- Lolita Davidovich as Linda Collins
- Gloria Reuben as Adrienne Francis
- Barry Ratcliffe as the Auctioneer
- Peter Jurasik as Howie Sanders
- Brett Edwards as Jared Middleton
- Hunter Burke as David Stein
- Alina Lia as Brooke
- Rango the bull as Himself
In April 2014, Fox 2000 Pictures set a film adaptation to be released on April 10, 2015, with George Tillman Jr. in final talks to direct, Craig Bolotin adapting the screenplay, and Britt Robertson as Sophia Danko, Oona Chaplin as Ruth, Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins, Jack Huston as Young Ira, and Alan Alda as old Ira.
Principal photography began on June 16, 2014, in Wilmington and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. On July 28, filming started in Jacksonville, where a major rodeo scene was shot. The PBR was the technical advisor and producer for all of the bull riding events. PBR bull riders doubled for Scott and appeared in the film. The crew then moved to Winston-Salem at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Longest Ride has grossed $37,446,117 in North America and $25,498,698 in other territories for a worldwide total of $62,944,815.
The Longest Ride has received negative reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 29%, based on 112 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Longest Ride is less manipulative than the average Nicholas Sparks film, but it's still saccharine and hopelessly contrived — not that it'll matter to the target audience." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 33 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". It earned an average grade of "A" in CinemaScore poll on an A+ to F scale, marking the first Sparks feature adaptation to earn an A in 11 years since The Notebook (2004).
|2015||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Drama||The Longest Ride||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actor: Drama||Scott Eastwood||Won|
|Choice Movie Actress: Drama||Britt Robertson||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Breakout Star||Scott Eastwood||Nominated|
|2016||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Dramatic Movie||The Longest Ride||Nominated|
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