A rainy Saturday afternoon persuaded me to go see Secretariat the true story about the greatest race horse of all time. I wasn't really sure what to expect going into the theater, but I must say that this film was very entertaining.

The first half of the movie was a little far fetched. Penny Chenery, Diane Lane's character, lost both her parents, fought with her brother, took over a horse farm, fired a trainer, lost a coin flip, witnessed the birth of a horse, and helped raise the horse for 2 years, all in the span of about 39 minutes. That being said, I thought the second half of the movie was very well done. The scene of Penny's family watching the Preakness Stakes on an old television in their living room I thought was particularly well done. Not to mention, after doing a little research, it turns out that was the actual race, and not a reenactment they were watching.

I have never seen any of Lane's movies, the only reason I really know who she is comes from my reading of a certain sports writer. However, I thought she was fantastic. I can't imagine it was easy for her to film the majority of her scenes opposite a horse, but she really did a great job. She carried the movie and truly made the film more of the Penny Chenery story rather than the story of Secretariat. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it turns out horses aren't the greatest actors. John Malkovich was also great in a supporting role.

Maybe part of what is skewing my opinion on the film is that I was surrounded by a few different couples who were, what we will call experienced in life. During each race sequence when they would show Secretariat making a charge for the lead they would pump their fists and get really into it as thought this were a live race and not a recreation of horse races from 1973. Oh you elderly folk really know how to have a good time.

Directed by: Randall Wallace
Written by: Mike Rich and William Nack
Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale, and Nelsan Ellis
My Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Would Gene Pick It?: Yes

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