The filmmakers can be forgiven for steering clear of a few obvious subplots that could have made this an even more captivating or heart-wrenching story (for example, the history of the owners' family and the strained relationship between Penny and her husband). After all, it is a Disney movie, and it should be. Secretariat's story as the horse everyone doubted who went on to win the Triple Crown is ripe for an uplifting, purely inspirational telling. We're glad that it was told the way it was, in PG fashion, rather than getting lost in the PG13 or R possibilities.
If you love horses, you should love this movie. They are honored as sentient, competitive, proud animals who are happy to run hard for their own glory and the glory of their trainers and owners. Diane Lane portrays Secretariat's steadfast, risk-taking owner; John Malkovich is the colorful French-Canadian trainer who provides most of the film's laughs. Many of the nation's top critics are wondering if this film might sneak into the Best Picture nominee pack this year the way The Blind Side did last year. The two films do have some curious similarities, and in both cases you leave the theater feeling like you've won something yourself.