Secretariat (2010) Blu-ray Review
Jan 19, 2011 03:15 PM EST
3 Min Read
The story of Secretariat is really the story of Penny Tweedy (Diane Lane), a mother and wife who grew up on her father's horse farm. The film opens with a typical morning for the year 1969. The family sits at the table while mom rushes around the kitchen getting everyone their breakfast and preparing for the days chores. A phone call interrupts this scene with the news that Penny's mother has passed away. When they get to the farm Penny finds her father in his study not completely aware of what has transpired. The beginnings of dementia are setting in and with the realization that her father's farm might become lost, Penny decides to try and bring the place back to its former glory.
After some advice from an old family friend Penny enlists the help of an eccentric horse trainer named Lucien Laurin, played by John Malkovich. Penny has also placed her hopes on the offspring of a mare in her care. Born of excellent parentage the baby is nicknamed Big Red. As he grows into maturity Penny decides that the best way to raise money to help the farm is to race the horse. Her father's trusted assistant and family friend comes up with the name Secretariat. After a rocky start at a few races Penny begins to see the promise in the steed. While she is working around the clock to get the horse ready for all these races her marriage begins to take a rocky turn. Her family is out in Denver and her husband is not making her decision to stay on the farm any easier for her.
When Secretariat wins his first few races he starts to draw a lot of notice and as such Penny sees the possibility that her fathers farm may survive. Eventually there is talk of the horse going to the big three races and naturally there is concern that he wont be able to make it through all three. While the movie boasts an impressive cast all of whom have shown amazing talent throughout their careers, it's not so much the performances but the tone of the movie itself that make the whole film seem a bit forced. Penny Tweedy is someone who took on extraordinary responsibilities during a time when woman were still looked at as inferior in contrast to men. With that being said there is never too much of a sense of struggle for her, you know how the story is going to play so you don't feel the concern you should for what she went through.
Now on Blu-ray the film has been translated gorgeously. The sound and picture quality really come through as you watch it. It helps that the movie was shot in some amazing locations, which offer wonderful images for the eye. On the two-disc pack you can find a Blu-ray and standard edition of the movie as well as docs discussing the choreography of the races, an interview with the real Penny Tweedy, audio commentary from the director, a multi-angle view of Secretariat's 1973 Preakness run, a look into his incredible career and a few deleted scenes.
Overall the film is one about triumph over adversity and even though the movie tries to focus on the horse, it really is the story of an incredible woman who decided to take the reins of life and run at full speed regardless of the consequences.
- Diane Lane,
- John Malkovich,
- Dylan Walsh,
- James Cromwell,
- Kevin Connolly,
- Nelsan Ellis,
- Dylan Baker,
- Margo Martindale,
- Otto Thorwarth,
- Fred Thompson,
- AJ Michalka,
- Scott Glenn
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 116 minutesDistributed By: Walt Disney Pictures
Secretariat images are courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Read More Secretariat Reviews
Movie / Film Review
Ayla examined her son again, trying to remember the reflection of herself. My forehead bulges out like that, she thought, reaching up to touch her face. And that bone under his month, I've got one too. But he's got brow ridges, and I haven't. Clan people have brow...
Full Review | Grade: B