Seabiscuit is the little horse movie that could. Although nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Seabiscuit lost almost every Oscar to The Return of the King. I don’t watch many horse movies, but Seabiscuit is worthy of all its recognition. Set during the Great Depression with old fashioned narration from David McCullough, Seabiscuit was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was small, angry, and lazy, but became an underdog for the people. The movie centers around three men: the salesman, the trainer, and the jockey.
Jeff Bridges plays charismatic car salesman turned horse promoter Charles S. Howard. Fresh off his Oscar win for Adaptation, Chris Cooper plays older horse trainer Tom Smith. After their previous film Pleasantville, Tobey Maguire reunited with director Gary Ross to play redheaded stubborn jockey Red Pollard. An angry jockey needs an angry horse, so all three men come together to make Seabiscuit the unlikely champion. Maguire brings the same level of enthusiasm that he brought to playing Spider-Man.
Fellow Spider-Man co-star Elizabeth Banks also appears as Howard’s younger supportive second wife Marcela. Along with fellow Pleasantville co-star William H. Macy as energetic racing announcer “Tick Tock” McLaughlin. Though Red and Seabiscuit have a strong bond, he’s forced to relinquish the jockey seat after a terrible accident. Real life jockey Gary Stevens plays replacement jockey George Woolf. They win against the frequent winner War Admiral, but Seabiscuit later sustains a similar injury to Red. Their bond only grows stronger when they build eachother back up. Seabiscuit is as inspirational as the horse himself.