" Secretariat is a rare breath of fresh air in a Hollywood atmosphere that is often polluted with blasphemy and lust. You'll hold both your breath and the edge of your seat. "
Director: Randall Wallace
Studio: Walt Disney
Tagline: The Impossible True Story
Release Date: October 8, 2012
Penny Chenery Tweedy (Diane Lane) and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.MY TAKE
“19 Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? 22 He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. 24 In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.” Job 39:19, 22, 24
When Penny Tweedy (Diane Lane) gets a call regarding her mother’s death, she and her family head to the funeral in Virginia where she soon faces another life-altering dilemma. The family horse farm is suffering, and her ailing father cannot take care of himself, let alone Meadow Stables. Penny’s brother wants to sell the farm, but Penny remains unfazed by her lack of horse-racing knowledge and a $6 million inheritance tax.
Buoyed by her strong will and a desire to keep her father’s dream alive, Penny is determined to continue the family tradition and agrees to run the farm. With the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich), Penny quickly learns how to navigate the male-dominated business, but will her efforts be enough to foster the first Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years?
Based on the true story of the horse by the same name, Secretariat is a rare breath of fresh air in a Hollywood atmosphere that is often polluted with blasphemy and lust. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of sports or horses; the film is uplifting and inspirational for the entire family.
Despite the use of a couple of very mild profanities (two uses of “hell”), the film offers a surprisingly solid biblical framework. Referencing Jesus in song and quoting the book of Job, Secretariat can’t be explicitly labeled a “Christian film,” but it does a wonderful job of recognizing the magnificence of God’s creation and the importance of family support.
The acting, bolstered by Lane’s tough edge and Malkovich’s perfectly over-the-top comic relief, complements a tightly-constructed script that does a wonderful job of building the tension as it leads to the races. Whether you know the outcome or not, you’ll hold both your breath and the edge of your seat as you cheer on the world’s greatest racehorse. Only the hardest of hearts won’t be smiling as the credits roll.
ODDS & ENDS
- The racing scenes are all recreations except historical footage of the Preakness.
- The Triple Crown trophy seen after the 3rd race is the actual trophy that was loaned by the Kentucky Derby Museum.
- Penny Chenery was on set for much of the filming.
- Diane Lane is married to Josh Brolin who is in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon.
Rated PG for brief mild language, Secretariat contains only a couple of mild profanities ("hell") and easily meets mama's approval.