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by Roger Tennis

On CLIPS In October, 2010

Diane Lane and John MalkovichDiane Lane and John Malkovich star in director Randall Wallace's film about Penny Chenery and her legendary Triple Crown winning horse.

TRIVIA: John Malkovich had a role in what 1998 film directed by Randall Wallace?

cameracameracameracamera    (4 CAMS)        RATED PG

Despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing fatherís (Scott Glenn) Virginia-based Meadow Stables. With the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich), Chenery battles the odds and succeeds in the male-dominated business. The result is the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and possibly the greatest racehorse of all time. "Secretariat" should be counted among the greatest racehorse films of all time. Even with the outcome known, cheers and applause filled the theater several times during the preview screening. Director Randall Wallace's heart-pounding and riveting true-life family drama is as much about the indomitable spirit of Penny Chenery Tweedy as it is about her champion horse Big Red, a.k.a. Secretariat. Diane Lane delivers one of the finest performances of her career. An equally impressive supporting cast is dominated by John Malkovich and Margo Martindale as Miss Ham, the Chenery's loyal secretary. Dylan Walsh is Penny's supportive husband Jack Tweedy. James Cromwell and Fred Dalton Thompson are among the industry players. In a departure from his "True Blood" role, Nelsan Ellis steals some scenes as trainer and groomer Eddie Sweat. Also stealing scenes is the amazing race footage of cinematographer Dean Semler that places the audience in the jockey's seat. Presented in epic Hollywood fashion, the movie still feels authentic. "Secretariat" deserves a strong finish at the box office.


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