Friday, October 15, 2010

Kathleen Recommends "Secretariat"

It doesn't matter whether you like horses--okay, it helps--or horse racing, you will enjoy the new movie, "Secretariat." Even though you know the horse wins the Triple Crown, the movie has you gripping the armrests during the races. It's beautifully filmed--incredible race sequences--well-written, and the performances are terrific. And the story is compelling.

Clyde and I went to see this one immediately, and it is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. There's the action--you really feel like you're racing--and a certain grandeur in the setting. But it's the storytelling that wins the roses with this movie. Much of the script was based on a book about Secretariat's groom, Eddie Sweat, who is a wonderful supporting character in the movie. But this is owner Penny Chenery Tweedy's story, and it's one most women I know can relate to in one way or another. Penny is a wife and mother living in Colorado who goes home to Virginia for her mother's funeral. Her father's health is failing, and her brother wants to sell the home place and the horse business.

When Penny realizes that the trainer who's worked for her father for years is trying to finagle a deal on one of the mares for another farm, she decides to step in. She knows very little about horse racing, but the man rubbed her the wrong way. Against the advice of her brother and husband, she finds a new trainer. The mare drops an amazing foal, and we're off and running.

Relationships drive this story, and that's where fine script writing comes in. Penny makes difficult choices, and we watch her juggle her many roles while she plays her cards close to the chest in a world dominated by men. We know the horse will win, but how will Penny fare? (That's jockey Ron Turcott and the real Penny on the left.)

Diane Lane is wonderful in this role, and John Malkovich plays eccentric trainer Lucien Lauren with his usual flair. ( Malkovich is one of my favorite actors. )

Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, just days before my first baby was born. I came home from the movie, took the baby book from the trunk, and turned to the page headed "In the News." I had listed stuff about Watergate, Vietnam, and "Secretariat Wins the Triple Crown." Oh, yeah. It was big news.

I just got the cover for the 2-in-1 re-release of two of my favorite Silhouettes--BROOMSTICK COWBOY and DEFENDER. My "look" of late has been the lone cowboy, which is fine by me. You don't find many Western romances these days except in series, and it's always been a favorite theme for me. A CERTAIN KIND OF HERO is scheduled for December, so I'll talk it up in a month or so. Just thought I'd see what you think of my new guy, who fits Tate Harrison--hero of BROOMSTICK COWBOY very nicely.

Oh, and I saw previews for a movie we'll be taking the kids to first day out around Thanksgiving. Disney's version of Rapunzel is called "Tangled," and I tell you I laughed aloud through the whole trailer.

DVD recommendation: "The Other Man" with Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, and Antonio Banderas. Terrific!

Have you seen any good movies lately? Any you'd like to warn us against?

14 comments:

Helen Brenna said...

I love Diane Lane and you convinced me, Kathy, I'm going to the theater for this one.

Awesome new cover!

Cindy Gerard said...

Great review, Kathleen. I was worried that this one might be a bit of a snooze but I trust your take on it implicitly. Can't wait to see it.
Haven't been to a theater in ages but I recently rented Robin Hood with Russell Crow. I LOVED it, not just for the whole Robin Hood fantasy but because it was a different take on his story. This movie is all about what happened to Robin to turn him into the bandit of Sherwood forest, what he gave up for the king, how he was used, why he became an outlaw. It was wonderful.
Also - congratulations on your re-issues. I LOVE cowboys and no one does them better than you.

krisgils33 said...

Congrats on the re-issue. I do love me the cowboys. yum!

Michele Hauf said...

Thanks for that movie rec, Kathy! I love Lane and Malkovich, so will definitely see it.

Your cover is awesome! That's one mighty fine lookin' man, er, cowboy.

I too am looking forward to Tangled. Will slip in alone to watch it unless I can convince my daughter to go see it with me.

I'm also wanting to see RED, with Malkovich, Mirren, Freeman, and others. It looks like it'll be fun.

Leanne said...

Thanks for the movie review, Kathy! I must admit I don't go to the movie theater very often. I tend to prefer watching in my own home. (My house might get a little messy, but it's so much CLEANER!)lol

And I LOVE your covers AND your writing!!!:)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Cindy, I adored "Robin Hood" and will probably buy the dvd. That was another one that was worth seeing on the big screen--so lush, so epic, so romantic.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Michele, you can always stop in at the Nest and check out my new Rent-A-Grandkid venture for grownup girls who love a good fairytale flick.

PJ said...

I haven't been to the movies lately but I've been looking forward to the release of Secretariat. Everyone I know who has seen it has raved about it. I remember watching Secretariat win all three of the Triple Crown races back in '73. What an amazing horse!

Kathleen Eagle said...

PJ, wait until you relive that last race. OMG, that scene is breathtaking!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Wait. Did I actually type OMG? OMG!

Keri Ford said...

oh, I've been wanting to see this. The whole movie interests me-the racing, the storylines all of it. looks like lifetime movie hopped up on an extra kick of edge of your seat drama.

I saw Tangled ads when I saw ToyStory and I laughed and laughed through it. It looks fantastic.

Betina Krahn said...

Kathy, Michelle and all, RED is DEFINITELY worth the admission price! Fun movie with great dry humor and some LOL spots that are priceless. And I have to say, John Malkovich is stellar in a quirky role that few could pull off with such menace and hilarity and occasional pathos. the sight of him standing forlornly alone, holding a dangling pig by the tail is priceless. Go see it you guys-- and enjoy Bruce Willis trying to explain to Parker Posy that he had higher hopes for their first date and he apologizes that asassains are now after her. Too good. Enjoy!

Kathleen O said...

I am going to go tonight I hope, to see this movie. I was able to see Secretariat run here in Canada... and OMG what a horse.. I love Diane Lane and as soon I knew she was going to play Penny, I knew this would be a hit...

Kathleen O said...

PS... can't wait to read your re-issue. I read Once a Father last month and it was a wonderful story..