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Tuesday, August 05, 2003


Written and Directed by Gary Ross
Based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand
Reviewed By Mil Peliculas

There’s no other way to say it: Seabiscuit is just a lovely movie. Flat out. It reminds me of what Hollywood does right once in a while. It’s the story of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit, who was a scrappy little guy with a bad attitude descended from famous racing lineage, but who was overlooked and tossed aside by his trainers, and ultimately sold for a pittance to a wealthy entrepreneur.

Jeff Bridges plays Charles Howard, a self-made millionaire who made his money in automobiles. To him, cars were the future, and he would rather have had one car than a hundred horses. After an ironic twist of fate takes the life of his son in a car accident, Howard ends up recanting his feelings about horses, and even ends up buying Seabiscuit on the recommendation of Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), a uniquely gifted horse trainer and lover of horses. Smith sees something in Seabiscuit that no one else can see. Namely “heart.” Apparently in horseracing, you can often tell a good horse without even seeing them run, it’s just a look or an attitude that can be the tip-off, which I found very interesting.

Smith and Howard choose Red Pollard, a Jockey who’s as full of piss and vinegar as Seabiscuit is, to try and tame his wild spirit—and the combination turns out to be golden. Seabiscuit went on to be a world famous horse, and captured the imagination of a down-in-the-dumps depression era America as “the underdog” rags to riches story.

Everyone contributes in meaningful ways to this film, from the writing, directing, acting, and consultants. It seems very authentic, the characters are fully fleshed out and engaging, and even though I knew the story of Seabiscuit, I was on the edge of my seat, well, I did have to pee pretty bad, so that could have been part of it, but you could not have pried me from that seat, plots like those are called “bladder busters” because no matter how bad you gotta pee, you ain’t leaving. You also get nice little history lesson in the process.

Kids may find the pacing a little slow, but it’s properly paced for the type of story it is. I encourage parents to take their kids to this one, truly inspiring, and you may want to bring a tissue, because it does get rather emotional at times.

I hate to say it, please, forgive me, but...

As far as Oscar contenders go, Seabiscuit has broken out early and has a commanding lead coming around the first turn.

Cue music: Wha wha wha wha…