Suitable for any age.
Theatrical Release: 10/8/2010
Video Release: 1/25/2011
Reviewer: Emily Manthei
Writer: Mike Rich
Producer: Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray
Director: Randall Wallace
MPAA Rating: PG
Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Scott Glenn, Dylan Walsh, Fred Dalton Thompson
This is the true story of one of the most fabled racehorses of all time, Secretariat, whose bid for Triple Crown glory took him through epic failures and amazing successes. His owner, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), refuses to cooperate with the stereotype of the passive housewife when her mother dies, leaving her senile father in charge of their failing Virginia farm. She hires an eccentric horse trainer (John Malkovich) to train a promising new colt who becomes the legend, Secretariat. With thrilling shots directly from the jockey's perspective and beautiful moments of empowerment, passion and faith, this story will inspire anyone with her own obstacle-ridden race to run.
An interview with Director, Randall Wallace http://www.dove.org/news.asp?ArticleID=215
This is truly the story of a horse. Secretariat's personality and tremendous charisma steal the show entirely; however, there is a very subtle, palpable thread of faith as well. The film begins with a quote from the book of Job about the mystery of a horse and its amazing natural power. Because man cannot create such a regal and austere creature, who is he to question God's judgment? The theme of natural wonder and the mysteries of faith that we see in the incomprehensible achievements of the natural world continue to resonate throughout the film.
Penny, Secretariat's owner, takes comfort and strength in this mystery, somehow tapping into its undefined logic in a posture of faith as well. She stands by her decision to raise this horse and make it her own, as if he were a member of the family, even though her brother and her husband take sides against her and try to make her sell the horse. She is often challenged to be rude, petty, self-serving or succumbs to the passive escape of giving up, but she continues to feel that racing Secretariat is somehow a way to redeem her father's farm; what she ultimately discovers is that it redeems her own character and her fears about quitting, giving in or living a purposelessness life. There are some tense moments for Penny while she is away from home caring for Secretariat. She seems to learn the true value of her family by their frequent separation. Her self-discovery enhances the drama of her horse's race, which will determine whether she achieves any outward respect.
This wholesome, inspiring story delivers tears, laughter and joy to the whole family. We award "Secretariat" the Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for all ages.
Sex: Characters greet each other familiarly with a kiss on the cheek; a man stares at a woman's behind as she passes by.
Language: A few insults: Idiot-2; Pigs-2; "Shut your face"-2; Butt-1
Drugs: Wine is shown in parents' glasses at dinner; race track patrons are seen holding drinks on several occasions.
Other: Main character is shaken by each of her parents deaths; a horse is born (not graphic); a few characters get very angry at others, but apologize later.