Based on a true story, this film is about Secretariat, the first horse to win the US Triple Crown, making him the top thoroughbred racehorse of all time.
This two hour movie sees Diane Lane brilliantly portraying Secretariat’s breeder and owner, Penny Chenery Tweedy. She divides her time between the stables and being a wife and mother. Her right hand is trainer, Lucien Lavin and the superb John Malcovich takes on this role. Together they take ‘big red’ to the top!
For me, the star of the show is Secretariat, who has a personality of his own, posing for photographers and his unique racing style which is starting a race at the back and moving to the front as the race progresses. In reality, Secretariat was known for his stamina and not his endurance.
Penny Tweedy wins her horse by a flip of a coin and her faith in this thoroughbred sees her taking risks and fighting for her horse in a male dominated arena. The success she ultimately enjoyed could not have been done without the trainer, horse hand and Penny’s loyal secretary.
The horse races were superbly filmed and an immense adrenalin rush for me. Added to that, with each loss and win, a tear was shed.
I started watching this movie not knowing anything about this phenominal horse or the people surrounding him. Even if the story was fictional I still would have found it endearing because most movies with an animal in the lead role generally appeal to our sotfer side.
Diane Lane shines as Penny Tweedy who incidentally appears in a cameo role in the film – watch the end credits!