“Secretariat” Strong Women and Uplifting Story

Genres: Drama, Biopic and Sports
Running Time: 1 hr. 56 min.
Release Date: October 2nd, 2010 (sneak preview); October 8th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for brief mild language.
Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Distribution


Director: Randall Wallace

JJ Rating: B+

See it again: Maybe…
Own it: No.
Recommend it to: Those looking for a clean family movie to see that is positive and uplifting and shows a strong women.


Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) believes in a horse’s ability to race and puts so much into him. Secretariat not only performs as expected, he defies everything and everyone who thought they’ve seen it all. Secretariat.

I personally like films about strong women. Strong women that are not winches. And if you read my views on “The Apprentice”, you know what I’m talking about. There are strong women in “Survivor”. That is what makes Secretariat so great was Penny Chenery. Diane Lane must have made the actual Penny proud (who is in the movie). She was strong, steadfast and powerful. Penny knew what she wanted and Lane was able to communicate it through her acting.

Lucien Lauren was a horse trainer played by John Malkovich. Malkovich did well for himself. He showed confidence and disappointment with gaudy fashion sense. Margo Martindale played the helpful secretary Miss Ham. Her facial expressions toward Lucien and his hats are one of my favorite parts of the film. She was really good with the Good Lord what do you have on your head look.

Every single film about a woman who is strong intimidates their husband or boyfriend that they are with during their time of power. It’s weird why these men just don’t support and be proud that they have a woman in their life that’s willing to get their hands dirty for what they love. It’s interesting that Penny’s husband, Jack (played by Dylan Walsh), goes through a small time (via film) of being very uncomfortable with what she’s doing, but then he flips and starts to enjoy it. I was glad that occurred. I got sick of the other way. It’s so Neanderthal-ish.

For those that are worried that this film is similar to other horse films like Seabiscit, don’t you fret. It’s different. Really different if one looks at the final race. It’s not about wondering does Secretariat win, but how does he win. It’s amazing, if you don’t know the story, how he accomplishes it.

Secretariat is a great family film. It does suffer from being a little bogged down in a few parts, but overall it moves smoothly. The characters are all well likable and enjoyable. The story is strong and compelling. The cinematography is good and refreshing to see such beautiful countryside.

Watching Secretariat I realized that horse eyes are freaky. They have a few close-ups of the horse eye and I looked away. Creepy weird looking dark marble thing that moves and if it moves a little too much white and red show. It’s not pretty.

Secretariat won’t take dictation, as one character says, but it will lift the spirit to see someone succeed under daunting odds. Everyone loves to see success when someone has the deck stacked against them and whom more is the deck stacked than a woman during that time? Well, I could answer that, but it’s not great to answer a good sounding question when it sounds good without an answer. Moreover, the point would be muddled if I gave my answer. Ha.

It’s decent, good, clean fun. Enjoy it for what it is and don’t expect much more than that.

I write like: David Foster Wallace

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