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Wednesday, December 8, 2010


by Christina Delgman

"Secretariat" is a heart-warming, family friendly movie starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich and Dylan Walsh. This true story about Penny Chenery and her horse, Secretariat, takes place in 1973.

Chenery (played by Lane) faces many obstacles. The movie begins as Chenery, a housewife, deals with the death of her mother. In the process, she finds out her parents’ horse farm is failing and they might lose it. Cheney’s goal is to revive her father’s business by raising and training a horse named Secretariat to win the Triple Crown. Though the odds are against Chenery and her horse, they keep on trying. The time period of the film reflects a male-dominated world, so everyone is astonished when Chenery steps away from her housewife role. With her determination and will to win, she beats the odds and proves everyone wrong.

Courtesy of Google Images
“Secretariat” was filmed in Kentucky and Louisiana in locations with great scenery. Filming in the home of horse racing added to the quality of the film and made it more realistic. The cinematography of the movie was amazing. The close shots on the track make it seem like you are right there with the horses.

The three strongest performances were those of Lane, Malkovich and Margo Martindale. Lane was able to get into character and portray a ‘70s housewife. In her films, Lane is always able to display believable emotions. Her costuming was perfect for the time period. Hair and makeup were well done and realistic.

Malkovich, who played Lucien Laurin Cheney’s horse trainer, was outstanding in his performance. He was the comedian in the movie and added humor to the tense scenes. Malkovich had a unique wardrobe to go with his humor.

Martindale, as Miss Ham, did a great job as a supporting actor. She was Chenery’s friend and sidekick. Martindale kept Malkovich’s character on his toes and kept up with his sarcastic humor.

"Secretariat" is a movie that will tug at your heart strings and keep you at the edge of your seat. It gets an A.

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