Secretariat is one of those feel good movies that Disney is so good at making and they have clearly not lost the touch for creating solid family entertainment. It helps of course to have a great story to work with and there are only a handful of horses about which one could make a movie and Secretariat is one of them. Secretariat was probably the greatest thoroughbred racing horse of the twentieth century (apologies to Northern Dancer et al). There are so many ways that this could have go wrong but a tight, quick moving script, good direction and solid acting keep the movie moving towards the finish line with only a few minor issues along the way (none of which detract from the story).
Diane Lane plays Penny Tweedy (nee Chenery) the owner of Secretariat – a housewife in a time when a housewife was considered more of an expected career path than a vocational option. University educated and married to a successful businessman she is also raising three children, one who is intensely politically active in the naïve high school way so many are, when she receives the news that her mother has died. She arrives at the family farm to find that her father is deteriorating mentally. The rest as they say is history.
The turbulent times and family strife in the Tweedy family are largely glossed over or vaguely referenced in the movie but really: So what? This is not a historically accurate movie this is a movie based on a legendary performance by one of the greatest horses of all time. It is simply a good, enjoyable, family movie well worth your time.