Although I love Diane Lane, I have to admit I wasn’t overly enthused to see this Disney movie – I’m not a big horse racing fan at all. That being said, I am a sucker for “Based on a True Story,” films so the fact that the events actually happened made me get into it – real quick. The story: “The life story of Penny Chenery, owner of the racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973.” He was the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years!
A little back story, the director, Randall Wallace, also directed The Man in the Iron Mask and We Were Soldiers, as well as wrote the screenplays of Braveheart and Pearl Harbor – so it’s no wonder he was able to get people like Diane Lane and John Malkovich to help tell this story.
As the story begins, Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane, finds out that her father has fallen ill and she much help manage the family’s finances at the ranch as a result. This is where the inspirational adventure begins.
Some other great performances are by James Cromwell, who plays her rival horse stable owner and Kevin Connolly, who plays the journalist who follows the events that lead to Secretariat winning the Triple Crown. One of the most interesting parts, I found, was how the horse came to be part of Chenery’s family. Whether chance (a coin toss) or destiny, had the events not occurred the way they did and they animal be in her care, none of it would have ever happened.
There’s a little action in this film as well. Actually, to be completely fair, The Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes races are actually amazing to watch. The way it was filmed was brilliant and kept you on the edge of your seat. The cinematography in the movie is amazing.
MOVIE RATING: 4 out of 5 stars
Oh, and how could I forget: Above, Diane Lane and the eye candy for the movie, Drew Roy (who plays Seth Hancock).