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Another Thumb and a Half

Deacon, I saw Seabiscuit last night, and I agree with the Washington Post reviewer who gave it a thumb and a half. It’s good, and the race scenes are terrific. But the movie has a certain flat-footed, ponderous quality that comes mostly, I think, from substituting a well-meaning respectability for the scruffiness of the race track. Plus the treatment of the Depression–with a gratuitous 30-second paean to Franklin Roosevelt–is irritating. And the movie makers were afraid that viewers with IQs lower than 40 might not get the point of the story, so they have the Jeff Bridges character, Charles Howard, repeat it every 15 minutes just in case you weren’t catching on.
But still, it’s a lot better than most of what’s out there, and as a fan of horses and horse racing, I enjoyed it a lot. I always like movies about horses–since the horses can’t talk, they can’t be given any bad lines. So see the movie if you feel like it, but in any event you should read the book, which is great.

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