At Salon, Andrew O’Hehir has a rip-roaring review of “Secretariat” that finds in Disney’s unabashed grab for awards (and the family-friendly market) some fascinating, disturbing stuff:
“Secretariat” is such a gorgeous film, its every shot and every scene so infused with warm golden light, that I began to wonder whether the movie theater were on fire. Or my head. But the welcoming glow that imbues every corner of this nostalgic horse-racing yarn with rich, lambent color comes from within, as if the movie itself is ablaze with its own crazy sense of purpose. (Or as if someone just off-screen were burning a cross on the lawn.) I enjoyed it immensely, flat-footed dialogue and implausible situations and all. Which doesn’t stop me from believing that in its totality “Secretariat” is a work of creepy, half-hilarious master-race propaganda almost worthy of Leni Riefenstahl, and all the more effective because it presents as a family-friendly yarn about a nice lady and her horse.
And yet, he admits, “In its own strange way, ‘Secretariat’ is a work of genius.” As is the review! I remain intensely disinterested in the film, and still loved reading this unexpected take on it.