- Gary Ross
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Thursday, July 31, 2003
Red (Tobery Maguire), a half-blind young man who has had a difficult life apart from his family, Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), a businessman who suffered a terrible family tragedy and survived the Depression, Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), a natural horse trainer trying to make a new life, and Seabiscuit, a limp horse no one believed in, join forces to enter the horseracing world with a blast while struggling to endure their own demons in the 1930’s.
Seabiscuit is based in Laura Hillenbrand’s book which tells the true story of one of the most impressive success tales during a time when people needed something to get away from their real lives, someone to believe in. Director Gary Ross successfully blends this time of history with the inspirational story of a long shot who was able to go as far as he could.
The truth is, we all know the ending to the story, or at least we think we do, but it’s the journey to get there that makes of this the remarkable motion picture it is. You could say it’s melodramatic, but director Ross knows how to keep things under control. He never goes too far and is able to bring his movie with the warmth required to involve the audience. These four troubled souls form a family of their own and the feeling is always present that we’re invited to join as well. I know it sounds rather cheesy, but it’s the truth.
Seabsicuit is ultimately a tale about not giving up, about fighting over adversity and about second chances. It is a story about hope and courage.
Not only is the movie expertly directed, always giving a sense of excitement to the horseracing scenes and of intimacy to the more quiet ones, but it also boasts a good Randy Newman score, splendid photography and amazing production design. We’re really brought into another era, and it’s astonishing.
Tobey Maguire leaves behind his Spider-Man suit and gets into the skin of a completely different character with great ease. Jeff Bridges is sympathetic and excellent as millionaire Charles Howard. Even William H. Macy appears for some comic relief and does so expertly. But it is Chris Cooper who gives the best performance in the movie. His Tom Smith shows dignity, wisdom, but also something dark behind those eyes. I especially enjoyed the scene where Howard goes on to talk to Smith.
Inspiring, that’s the word!
“You don’t throw a whole life away just ‘cause it’s banged up a little.”
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