Secretariat: Movie Review
Cast: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, James
Director: Randall Wallace
This latest from Disney is the tale of a horse and of
a woman who wouldn't let go.
Diane Lane stars as
Penny Chenery, an 1960s American housewife, whose family has spent generations
breeding racing horses on their Virginian farm.
When her father (Scott Glen) becomes too ill to continue on the farm,
Penny, against the wishes of her family, takes over the business. With the help
of maverick trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich) this housewife with a passion
for horses and honouring her family's legacy takes on the industry and leads her
horse, Secretariat, to the challenge of winning the Triple Crown.
Secretariat is one of those to file under earnest and
worthy but dull at times.
It's incredibly slow to
get going - from its sombre opening to the final furlong two hours later,
there's a bit of a slog here to be frank.
Diane Lane and John Malkovich turn in sturdy performances in this aspirational
and inspirational film - but you can't help but feel your attention drifting
when the focus moves away from the racetrack and the inevitable financial
troubles faced by the family.
That said, when it's
on the race track, that's where the film truly comes to life - and sees you on
the edge of your seat.
Cameras take you right into
the heart of the racing - be it on a horse or by the hooves, the filming of the
races really does soar and gets your pulse going.
Secretariat won't win any awards, does exactly what you'd expect from
an inspirational film and does at times feel like a little earnest TV Movie -
which is a shame because the final 20 minutes sees the film come vividly to life
with an injection of drama and tension.