October 8th, 2010
05:07 PM ET
Disney’s spin on the story of Secretariat, the horse that became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years in 1973, is what many critics are fondly referring to as “square.” But if you’re in the mood for a wholesome family film – or just want to admire the beauty of a racing horse – then you should place your bets on “Secretariat” this weekend.
The film stars Diane Lane as Penny Chenery, a woman who finds herself with a winning stallion after she takes over her father’s Virginia horse farm. While the plot unravels the familial tension caused by Chenery’s decision to fight her way through the world of racing, some argue that the real winner of the tale is, of course, Secretariat.
Roger Ebert assures viewers in his review that “This isn't some cornball formula film,” noting that “It doesn't have a contrived romance.” "Secretariat," Ebert says, “takes none of those mundane paths. It is a great film about greatness, the story of the horse and the no less brave woman who had faith in him.”
The New York Times, on the other hand, acknowledges that the film is “Squeaky clean and as square as a military flattop,” but is nonetheless a “pleasurable, seductive fantasy,” partly because “the sight of a running horse is a beautiful thing.”
USA Today, however, cautions the potential moviegoer that the film’s sentimentality, which the reviewer believes is doled out with a heavy hand, ends up undermining the story’s impact.
So is “Secretariat” a little too saccharine, or does the sweet tale satisfy? Let us know with your iReport reviews, either with a photo expressing whether you liked it or not, or with a video telling us if we should check it out.
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.