Seabiscuit (2003)

seabiscuit race movieWhen it comes to horse racing, it’d be hard to be behind behinds because being behind behinds behooves you to befriend other behinders, when, unbeknown to those befriended behinders, you’d be bound before long to be ahead instead of behind, betraying your befriended behinders and basically bequeathing them a basket of bitter basking behind behinds with nothing to behold but, and besides, butts and behinds to be beheld from behind.

 

First, let us acknowledge that someone in the earth’s history thought “Seabiscuit” was an acceptable name for anything but a stale pirate snack.

Nominated for “Best Picture,” Seabiscuit is based on the 2001 book written by Laura Hillenbrand, who went on to write Unbroken, which is one of my all-time favorite books. Hillenbrand has a very cool style of writing that intertwines personal narratives within a larger historical context, and that’s exactly how Seabiscuit feels.

The story and the Depression-era background also feels credible because David McCullough, historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is the film’s narrator. (By the way, if I was him I would start every conversation with “Before my first Pulitzer Prize…”)

This movie has some gorgeous cinematography, too. Get ready for a lot of bum shots, though — watching this movie is like looking into a rear-view mare.

Seabiscuit stars Jeff Bridges (The Giver), Chris Cooper (October Sky), and of course, Tobey Maguire — the man we all knew and loved as Spiderman until that third uncomfortable installment, at which point we promptly abandoned him and pretended the whole trilogy never existed.

My one beef with this movie is a Mexican brothel scene (largely accounting for the PG-13 rating) which legitimately upsets me because it was completely unnecessary. No nudity is technically shown but I recommend just skipping the whole Tiajuana part. [Sigh] I hate racy scenes in race-y movies.

seabiscuit maguireOH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: At one point Seabiscuit injures his leg, immediately earning him the undeserved but technically accurate nickname “Limp Bizkit.” (I cannot overstate how excited I was to make that joke.)

This movie is not just about underdogs (or underHORSES…Anyone? Anyone?) — it’s about giving second chances to horses and humans alike.

No matter what mistakes, failures, or even atrocities someone may have committed in the past, the opportunity to prove improvement is something that should be given to all creatures of our God and King.

The worth of souls is great in the sight of God. He is the Father of our spirits and knows us on a very personal and individual level. Could you honestly fathom our Father in Heaven experiencing anything but pure and absolute joy when even one of His children forsakes a pattern of thought or behavior they know to be wrong — large or small — in a sincere effort to draw closer to Him?

It’s not what we’ve done, where we’ve been, or how far we’ve fallen, but rather which way we face, and whether or not we have the faith to make the difficult changes in life.

And despite what we might think of ourselves at present, our Heavenly Father knows what we can eventually become.

As Seabiscuit’s trainer, Tom Smith, put it: “You don’t throw a whole life away just ‘cause he’s banged up a little.”

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” — Hebrews 12:1

 

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