You might not give a damn about Secretariat, the fastest horse in history who went on to win horse racing’s triple crown in 1973, a feat not accomplished in 25 years. But the film contains all the elements needed to grab your attention from the word go and right through the closing credits. It’s the inspiring (and true) story of Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), the woman who took over her father’s stable despite her lack of horse racing knowledge. With the help of a veteran trainer (John Malkovish in top form), she managed to defeat the male dominated odds and accomplish the unbeaten record for winning the triple crown.
“Secretariat” is not just a a movie about a horse. It’s a Disney film first, and it shows. Very typical of the house of the mouse to introduce some cheesy moments, but as long as it works, all is forgiven. It’s a nice little family film that goes straight to the point, and doesn’t waste much time with unecessary details. I found myself caught up in the exitement of the races, but for the most part, the film is about Secretariat’s impact on the lives of the people closest to him and their families. And eventhough the formula is a bit old (remember “Seabiscuit”?), it’s the solid performances and the wonderful locations that make this something special and well worth watching.