I will admit to not having given Secretariat a second thought when I heard they were making the movie. I mean, I like horses, don’t get me wrong. As a girl I went through the requisite Black Beauty and Black Stallion phases but I’ve never been so into horses that I wanted to watch a full-length movie about one, as an adult. Then I saw the trailer to Secretariat and was blown away.
Perhaps because I loved the time period of the film (I am a wee bit obsessed with Mad Men as my friends may be aware), or my love of John Malkovich as an actor, or my new found love of Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette on True Blood). Maybe I even did what the Disney marketing team wanted me to do – identify with the “just a housewife” moniker with which Diane Lane’s character is branded. In any event, I became excited for a movie about a horse. Disney has just released a new behind-the-scenes featurette focusing on Penny (the housewife in question) and her journey against all odds. I enjoyed it and thought you might too.
For those unaware of the story, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery—with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich)—manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.In 1973, Secretariat became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years, setting race records that still stand today in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.