The Impossible True Story.
"...irresistible... Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
|Penny chenery tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the triple crown.|
"...enjoyable...entertaining movie... Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"...inspirational... Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...thoroughly entertaining... Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com
"...This whole movie feels authentic... Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
A housewife with little knowledge of horse-racing fosters one of the greatest race horses of all time as the story of the 1973 Triple Crown winner comes to the screen in this inspirational underdog drama based on the novel SECRETARIAT: THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION by William Nack and starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich. Penny Chenery (Lane) is a devoted mother and housewife whose ailing father is the proprietor of Meadow Stables in Virginia. When her father becomes too ill to tend to his horses, Penny agrees to take over the stables despite her inexperience. Desperate, she turns to veteran horse trainer Lucien Laurin (Malkovich) to help show her the ropes. Up to this point, horse racing has been a decidedly male-dominated sport. But with Lucien's help, Penny prepares to prove that gender has no bearing on one's ability to breed a fast race horse. As Secretariat blasts out of the gates to leave his competition in the dust, the whole world watches in amazement, and a legend is born.
Cast & Crew
"Lane, in a series of wigs to portray the blond Penny Tweedy, holds the film together with a sturdy performance that suggests, in moments, a mystical connection between horse and owner."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his thrilling and inspiring entertainment about the legendary, 1973 Triple Crown winning horse should have audiences standing up and cheering."
"Lane projects the combo of homespun warmth and steely determination that has always been intrinsic to her screen appeal. Of the sterling supporting thesps, Cromwell is a subtle standout..."
Los Angeles Times
"[With] a strong and satisfying performance by Diane Lane....She is an actress with an instinct for honesty, someone incapable of false moves, and her restrained focused, performance as Chenery is a graceful stabilizing force here."
4 stars out of 4 -- "It is a great film about greatness, the story of the horse and the no less brave woman who had faith in him."
"[SECRETARIAT] actually captures some of the thrill of racing. Wallace and cinematographer Dean Semler film each race of the Triple Crown distinctively and cleverly..."
Wall Street Journal
3 stars out of 4 -- "With this stirring, thoroughly entertaining movie, director Randall Wallace has achieved the next to impossible, injecting genuine tension and suspense into a narrative we all know the ending to."
"It uses a fantastic gospel anthem to stoke our feelings, the Edwin Hawkins Singers' 1969 rendition of 'Oh Happy Day'....That song, with its funky-sublime syncopation, its waves of lordly joy, makes us feel that, yes, Secretariat really was a miracle horse..."
Denver Post 8 of 10
...Secretariat earns its best accolades for asking even larger questions as it highlights the story not just of a terrific horse but of his greatest champion, owner Penny Chenery, portrayed with grace, edge and a growing sense of self by Diane Lane....
- Lisa Kennedy
New York Observer 8 of 10
...This is one terrific movie about one terrific horse. It enthralls on so many levels-emotional, cinematic, historic...
- Rex Reed
Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
...It is a great film about greatness, the story of the horse and the no less brave woman who had faith in him...
- Roger Ebert