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Seabiscuit's story involves three men. Charles Howard, Jeff Bridges, was a factory worker who, in 1910, became a pioneer automobile salesman but whose life was nearly ruined when a car accident killed his son. Tom Smith, Chris Cooper, is a lonesome cowboy, a man whose livelihood is being taken away from him by progress and by the cars that Charles Howard is selling. And Red Pollard, Tobey Maguire, is a boy abandoned by his parents after they're ruined in the Stock Market Crash. These three come together when Howard buys Seabiscuit, a horse nobody wants, and hires Smith as trainer and Red as jockey.Infinitely better than the previous Hollywood film about Seabiscuit - which was a vehicle for Shirley Temple - Gary Ross's thoughtful slice of history takes its time to explore its characters in more detail than usual and to explore, too, the history of the times, mainly through the use of old photographs. Ross, whose previous film as director was the appealing Pleasantville, arguably takes a little TOO much time; the film ambles rather than gallops to its conclusion, and in that respect it's a bit different from most filmed true stories these days. The three main performances, four if you count the horse, are excellent, and there's an amusing cameo from William H. Macy as an eccentric radio commentator. Seabiscuit is a gentle, intelligent film which perhaps lingers a little too long over the telling of its remarkable story.

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