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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

[7.00/10] Secretariat (2010)



Brief review: Latest live-action Disney film, chronicles the life of Secretariat, the 1973 race horse winner of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Though it doesn't shine with much originality or with very imaginative script, "Secretariat" is an inspirational and very uplifting story, that represents life with its ups and downs, highs and lows, alternating dramatic scenes with some stirring and hilarious ones, without any unnecessary exaggeration. Moreover, the film is consistently gripping, cleverly-written, and it features plenty of likable characters, excellently-performed by the talented cast involved. Diane Lane delivers an engaging and thoroughly charismatic performance as the bold and determined Penny Chenery, who is the key character in the movie. However, it's John Malkovich that steals the show as the temperamental horse trainer. Oh, and the 'red' stallion itself looks nothing short of glorious! "Secretariat" is nicely-shot, and it looks very fresh and appealing, visually, in an old-fashioned sort of way. The production design is excellent, and golden tint of the cinematography not only pleases the eye, but fits perfectly the uplifting mood of the movie, as well as the imagery of the 70's era.

Overall summary: Quite predictable, yet exciting, thoroughly entertaining and hugely enjoyable, "Secretariat" is a true crowd-pleaser, and probably the most feel-good movie of the year.

6 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

Big Red was a magnificent horse and I couldn't believe they did Sea Biscuit before they did his story. I grew up hearing all about the great Secretariat and seeing footage of his victories. I remember when he died, too. There was a great Sports Illustrated article entitled "Pure Heart." I loved this movie, loved Diane and John and those beautiful horses.

Nebular said...

Melissa, is it was absolutely glorious, no doubt about it. Haven't seen "Seabuiscit", but I've heard it's good. I doubt it's as great as Secretariat though. When did he die, Mel? Was it a while ago. If I have to be honest I didn't know anything about this horse before the movie.

Melissa Bradley said...

He was put down in October 1989. He had laminitis, a condition that affects the hooves and is very painful. He was only 19, rather young because horses can usually live well into their 30's.

Nebular said...

Oh, that's so sad :( Poor horses!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That about sums up my review as well. A little long, but they managed to make the ending exciting. (I started to wonder "What if he doesn't win?) And Malkovich was great.

Nebular said...

Glad we agree on this one, Alex. Yes, it was slightly overlong, but never boring though. For a moment, I thought the same, but fortunately, it didn't happen :)