Monday, January 28, 2013


Couldn’t sleep very well on Friday night so I went downstairs to watch TV and hope to get tired.  One of the channels was playing the movie “Sea Biscuit” and I decided to remind myself whether or not I liked it.

Guess what?  I was reminded that I liked it very much.  In fact, so much that I have been thinking about it for the last three days.  Now, what could a movie about a horse have in it that would make me spend so much time pondering the message?  Well, let me tell you!!!

Every character in this story has some major flaw that keeps them from finding happiness and success that they crave.  “Red” Pollard, the jockey, feels abandoned because his parents have basically sold him off to reduce their own expenses.  His anger becomes the motivating factor in almost everything he decides to do. And his drinking aggravates things even more.

Tobey Maguire as Red Pollard

The owner of “Sea Biscuit” has lost his son and first wife so he is trying to drown his sorrows in alcohol and the life of a playboy.  But he can tell something is missing and feels the incompleteness of his situation.

Jeff  Bridges and
Elizabeth Banks

And the trainer, who seems the most aware of his place in life, is still haunted by the feelings he has for the horses and the sorrow he experiences when they are mistreated.
Chris Cooper was great as the
trainer and "Horse Whisperer"

Each one has something they would like to change but the motivation and impetus just isn’t there until they come in contact with the sad little horse, Sea Biscuit.  Here is an animal that has been abused and mistreated to the point it can’t trust anyone.  But each of the humans finds something they love about the horse and that changes the way they each look at life.

At one point in the movie, the Jeff Bridges character says something like:
“My horse is too small, my jockey is too big, my trainer is too old and I’m too dumb to know what I’m doing.  But we just keep on doing what we can for this wonderful horse.”

The message is that no one is beyond redemption.  Not a half-blind, angry jockey, not an alcoholic, depressed owner, and especially not an old, has-been trainer who really loves horses.  And because they work together and focus their love on a magnificent but flawed animal, they are all made much the better for the experience. 

 I know there is probably a lot of ‘poetic-license’ involved in the story but I don’t care.  It’s a good message and one I hope I can remember as I look at some of the “lost horses” I encounter in my life.

1 comment:

Melissa DeMoux said...

I haven't seen that one, I'll have to give it a try sometime.