Projections - Movie Reviews

Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit

The story of the legendary horse that overcame all odds to become a beloved winner, comes to life in one of the year's most anticipated films.

During the 1930's, a time when institutions and the security of a job and home that Americans had once counted on, had taken a nosedive.  People desperately needed something to boost their spirits - and Seabiscuit was just the thing.

It's a terrific story that begins with a young horse who had a bad temper and was too small to be a good race horse.  But, something about him struck a chord with trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper, who seems to drastically change in appearance with every film) and he convinces his boss, wealthy businessman Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges) to take a chance.

They hire jockey Red Pollard (Toby McGuire) to work with Seabiscuit, and before long, the horse is surprising the toughest skeptics with his performance on the track.

The tale draws us in much like it did when it was big news throughout the country.  It has three broken humans and teams them up with a broken horse - together they make history.  Howard had to overcome depression after a family tragedy, Smith was considered a kook who lived in the wind and Pollard was a taller-than-normal jockey who was prone to fighting.  But, something clicked and the magic happened!

Based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book, and directed by Gary Ross, Seabiscuit is a heartwarming, beautifully photographed film which doesn't miss a detail.

Even if the story is known, it remains exciting.  Howard, part businessman/part showman, goes around the country on a train spreading the word about his horse.  At every stop he holds a press conference where he goads Samuel Riddle, owner of War Admiral, the much-larger Triple Crown winner, to have a match race between the two horses.

Riddle finally relents, and the audience of the radio broadcast was the largest in history.  After the bell goes off and the race begins, the camera cuts to black and white stills of people gathered around their radios listening to the race.  By doing so, it delays the inevitable, building excitement - nice touch!

Besides the splendid cast of main characters, William H. Macy plays a colorful radio announcer by the name of "Tick Tock McGlaughlin."  He jumps around his small studio blowing horns and whistles to add sound effects to his rambunctious calling of the race and he's just great fun to watch.

Seabiscuit offers a lot, no matter your interests or age.  It is totally enthralling with wonderful performances, great scenery and a warm heartfelt story about a very special horse and the people who loved him.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Howard
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
Seabiscuit
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A+
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