Watched Jun 12, 2012
Based on the stories I'd read about the making of this film and its story, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't super excited to see it, but hey, I like horses, and I like races too, so I gave it a shot.
Based on the true story of the absolutely amazing horse Secretariat, I came away from the film with mixed feelings.
I wasn't impressed with the themes in the film. We've seen them many times, so they're nothing to be surprised about. I didn't exactly agree with the feminist messages.
I've got no problem with a housewife who owns a horse farm. In fact that's one of the really neat attractions to the film. The problem is when the horses become more important than her family. And it's an even bigger problem when the film justifies those decisions. Granted her family didn't cease to be important to her, the film does show her love for her family, but her love for her horses is what reins supreme. (pardon my poor sense of humor)
I also felt that the film didn't do a very good job taking me back to the appropriate time period. While we are given a few hippie scenes (which I didn't like), the dialogue feels too contemporary, and, though I'm not an expert at this, some of the styles of clothing didn't seem quite 70s to me.
Aside from that, the cinematography is good. And the lighting accompanies it nicely, which gives the film a good quality. The horse races are handled very well, and I enjoyed how they engage and excite you even when you know the results.
The score isn't great, but I enjoyed the way "O Happy Day" was woven in.
Overall, a decent film that's quite fun to watch. But it's still hard to get past a few of the repetitive themes.