I think for a time there was buzz for Ricky Staub’s Concrete Cowboy to be a potential Oscars contender for star Idris Elba. The father/son drama debuted at TIFF last September, and has made its way through the festival circuit, including Middleburg where I reviewed it, but has been fairly quiet for a while. Netflix is changing that now with the release of a new trailer ahead of the film’s release next month.
Elba stars as Harp, an urban cowboy who helps manage the real-life Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club stables in Philadelphia. Stranger Things actor Caleb plays his son, Cole, who is literally dropped off on his doorstep so the boy can spend the summer learning to be a man. While the move from Detroit to Philly has its struggles, it’s also where Cole learns the what it means to live like a modern-day cowboy.
And that really is the draw for this film, learning about this subculture of black urban cowboys that most of us never knew existed. For so long our entire perception of the cowboy has been white men and to see that idea expanded is truly fascinating. I was less interested in Cole’s teenage mischief, to be honest, and just wanted to hang out with Harp and his crew at the stables.
Also in the cast are Jharrel Jerrome, Lorraine Toussaint, Byron Bowers, and Method Man.
Concrete Cowboy hits Netflix on April 2nd.