Once in awhile a movie comes out that actually empowers women. Equally unusual is finding a great lead in a Hollywood film for a woman in her 40’s. It is difficult to find female role models that are strong, determined, savvy and courageous yet are still stylish, feminine, loving and kind; but Penny Chenery Tweedy, played by Diane Lane, is as bold and beautiful as the legendary Secretariat himself. Secretariat, the film, manages to succeed where others have failed in producing an inspiring movie about a complex and enigmatic woman who produces and an extraordinary legacy and leads a purposeful life.
This is just a great movie. It depicts the struggle of being a wife, a mother, and a daring woman who still harbors dreams and knows she has a destiny to fulfill. The plot revolves around Secretariat the phenomenal Triple Crown winner in 1973, but the story is really about Penny and one woman’s journey to commit herself fully to something she truly believes in.
Penny is a successful housewife and mother living a well-heeled life in the suburbs when her mother dies and she finds herself returning to the family’s horse farm. She soon realizes her father and the farm need her as much, if not more, than her four children and lawyer husband. She is forced to make choices – hard choices and rethink and reprioritize her life.
The children, like most kids, are submerged in their own lives, while her husband is more intimidated by her strength and substance in the face of hardship than supportive of her determination and perseverance. At one point he demands to know who she is. Is she Penny Chenery (her maiden name) or Penny Tweedy (her married name)? As if she can somehow separate the two personas. Many women may identify with this internal conflict of who they were, who they are and who they may become overtime.
Secretariat is the story of two champions: Secretariat and Penny. Both are winners in the truest sense of the word and it is their fearless attitude and big heart for believing in themselves that make them exceptional and several lengths beyond the pack. Adventure Woman recommends this film to everyone; take your kids and your kids friends. It is the best film of the year – you can bet the farm on it.