Okay, the other level of ME...
Alright, I will admit: I love the two actors that played center stage: Diane Lane, and John Malkovich. Both were toned down from their usual lustrous parts. Though playing the starring role, Diane Lane as Penny Chenery, was muted by 1970s, her coiffed do, and her more than proper wardrobe. John Malkovich played the trainer, Lucien Laurin, who had an eye for glam and dressed to the mad hilt, with plaid, stripe, and bold color all in one outfit! But what made the story was its truth in history, and its carefully unwound plot.
At first the death of Penny Chenery's mother seemed placid and shallow. Diane, as Penny Chenery, was playing a character--I forgot. She was supposed to be a certain caliber of person, and as the movie went on, she succeeded in making the character align with the real Penny Chenery: a strong-willed, intelligent, stoic, expert horse woman, who knew her family's horse business, and had the will and courage to see the building and winning of her horse in its place in history. She was also not a woman who liked the press or attention to herself. Diane played that card beautifully. It was a phenomenal show of character in reality, and Diane Lane mustered that character without flaw.
Secondly, I just love John Malkovich, no matter WHAT he plays! I have loved him since his role as Valmont, in Dangerous Liaisons.
While this man is not Sean Connery, by any means, he still has a certain attractiveness to him--even as a 57 year old actor! ( as if that was old!) I think it is because he doesn't look at his sparring character; he penetrates them with his eyes. He played the character, Lucien Laurin just as I imagine the man really was, but with a flavor of Malkovich that comes out in every character. This is Malkovich's signature, and I like it!
Leaving the theater, I felt complete control of my limbs, heart rate, and enthusiasm; one might have believed I was a horse my self, let out of the stable to race down the parking lot to my car. I felt a great exhuberance and wanted to go out and get my self a couple colts, or better yet, volunteer myself to the activity of cleaning and learning more of horses on horse farms.
I think that is what a movie is supposed to do: uplift you, affect your health positively; make your life-view a brighter one. This movie did it all for me. I can hardly wait for it to come out on video so I can own one!