Secretariat, a benignly inspirational Disney sports drama about the legendary racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1973, offers a fascinating test case for how much spoilers sometimes don't matter.
The achievement of both the movie and what Lane does with the part is that it's all bait to write her off as a sufferer, a role that Lane, due to bad movies and the bad men in them, knows too well. Not this time.
Just how much you enjoy Secretariat, Disney's glossy-coated biopic of the celebrated racehorse, depends in large part on how much you know of his career. If you know zilch, you'll be thrilled.
A finely constructed feel-good movie, gorgeous to look at, suspenseful when it's supposed to be and firmly in control of the sports movie archetypes and tropes that it wields like an experienced jockey using a riding crop.
Secretariat earns its best accolades for asking even larger questions as it highlights the story not just of a terrific horse but of his greatest champion, owner Penny Chenery, portrayed with grace, edge and a growing sense of self by Diane Lane.
Diane Lane inhabits roles with the naturalness of someone who's spent nearly a lifetime in front of the camera, and she's the bedrock of this inspirational sports story.