It’s horse racing season. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness are over and the Belmont stakes is coming up. What better way to get into the spirit than by watching a horse racing movie for family movie night? We’ve seen a bunch of them because my twelve-year-old, Spencer, is obsessed with thoroughbred racing. So much so, that we hosted his birthday party in the Santa Anita infield a couple of years ago. In an 0nly-in-Hollywood moment, Spencer got to actually meet the horse actor who played Seabiscuit in the movie.
Our favorite horse racing movie is about so much more than the sport itself. Seabiscuit is about the triumph of the little guy and how the entire country gathered around him during the great depression. The “little guy” in this case is the titular horse, Seabiscuit, who was much smaller than his equestrian competitors. But the “little guy” is also the jockey (who was blind in one eye), the owner (who was recovering from a debilitating depression), and the trainer, (who was a quirky character with unorthodox training methods). And finally, the “little guy” is the American people, who were suffering through a punishing depression.
Jeff Bridges plays Seabiscuit’s owner with avuncular good humor and Tobey Maguire is darling as the horse’s scrappy jockey, Red. The races in the movie were so tense and exciting that my two sons were hopping up and down on the couch. Be sure that you place the bowl of popcorn accordingly.