Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
|Featuring:||Diane Lane (Penny Chenery), John Malkovich (Lucien Laurin), Scott Glenn (Ogden Phipps), James Cromwell (Ogden Phipps), Dylan Walsh (Jack Tweedy), Fred Dalton Thompson (Bull Hancock), Kevin Connolly (Bill Nack), Nestor Serrano (Pancho Martin), more »|
|Director:||Randall Wallace—“When We Were Soldiers,” “The Man In The Iron Mask”|
|Producer:||Mayhem Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, more »|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
“The impossible true story”
“Secretariat” is an inspiring film based on the true story of a housewife and a horse who rise victoriously to overcome incredible odds. When Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) is left to dissolve her family’s failing estate, she discovers a dream of hope in the birth of one of her father’s horses. With determination and the assistance of trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich) and jockey Ron Turcotte (Otto Thorwarth), Secretariat becomes the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years, setting records that still stand today. Not just for the horse enthusiast, “Secretariat” speaks to us all. To find what we were made for and to live it without regret. “Because you never know how far you can go unless you run.”
“Secretariat” can be summed up in one verse. 2 Timothy 4:7 says,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
It is a story of perseverance through hardship and struggle. While history tells us the outcome, the film also tells us failure isn’t in losing the race, it’s in not running. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says to “…run in such a way as to get the prize.” The Contemporary English Version says “…run to win.” The heart of the story, like the scripture, is not in the actual winning, it’s in the effort, in giving all you’ve got.
Two verses particularly came to life for me during some of the race scenes when the horses were brought to the track and the crowd was cheering them on. I found an interesting parallel in the distraction, fear and excitement shown in some of the horses, with our own. As we prepare for and run our race, we must learn to stay focused on Jesus.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” —Hebrews 12:1-2.
“Secretariat” opened and closed with quotes from the Bible (Job 39:19-24) and contained recurring song “Oh Happy Day” which includes lyrics “when Jesus washed… my sins away.” There is nothing that I love more than to hear the Name of Jesus praised, especially on the big screen for all the world to see and hear, particularly when you aren’t expecting it. I, also, love films about following your dreams, so fitting the two together makes for a perfect movie, in this case, almost perfect. A few oddly negative and humorous clips at the movie’s end would have been best left out in my opinion, but I suppose that is a matter of taste. Nonetheless, I would rank “Secretariat” as one of my favorite films of all time.
In speaking of another character, Lucien says he “couldn’t train a monkey to pick his own butt” and “couldn’t train his own bowel movements.”
Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
Response to above comment—This is truly a remarkable movie and positive, and personally my favorite this year and possibly for several years. The men in this movie are not weak, and Penny is not controlling. She is passionate and determined and understands the horse better than others, who happen to be men. The men, especially her husband, are supportive and loving, giving her the freedom and opportunity to fulfill her dream for this horse and also save her father’s farm. It makes perfect sense that she is the driving force behind Secretariat.
I saw no underhanded negative messages by Disney.