Went out to Cinema Gold on Wednesday 2nd to see this film at the 3.10p.m screening. Unfortunately with so many films being made these days my local cinema Readings cannot cope with such numbers even with four screens. So out to Havelock North for me it was! We are so lucky to have four theatres here within easy reach of each other as the amount of films I can see is hugely increased over some other population centres.
Before I saw this film I'd never heard of the horse Secretariat. Not being from the US doesn't help as I'm not up with the horse racing scene there. But not having previous knowledge about a film's subject matter shouldn't put a movie goer off. It doesn't for me as if I don't know the subject matter then in many respects it makes the film interesting to see in that I will walk out having learnt something! And like all films based on real events then that is its ultimate goal. Secretariat certainly delivers on all fronts in that regard.
It is of course produced by Disney studios and with this knowledge one can safely assume what to expect. A feel good story, well scripted and acted, and well shot. Diane Lane in the lead role, and John Malkovich, are both seasoned performers and bring their experience to the roles without being too over the top and over bearing to make their roles unbelievable. I would describe them as sympathetic to the story and the real people they are portraying. The supporting cast are the same and add to the feel of the story as a whole.
While this is a story of a horse it is also about people and families. It is a film that fortunately interwoves both well. You don't get alot of racing action then people scenes following that fall flat. Each scene follows and molds together seamlessly with no flat or high spots. The pacing is good and makes for a very easy movie to watch and engage in wether a horse fan or not.
This is a good film without being spectacular. I doubt wether any serious cinema goer would add it to their favourite or best movie lists. But don't let this detract from the film. It's a good story that is well told. And if you are a horse racing fan then this film will appeal to you no end as it may be one of the better films made on the subject.
Click here for the Disney Secretariat site:
And click here for the official Secretariat site: