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"Secretariat" Movie Celebrates Working Moms


momlogic's Julie: "Secretariat," which opens in theaters this Friday, surprised me by being such a female-empowering film. Producer Gordon Gray tells momlogic the movie is a "sports movie for women" -- and I'd say that's exactly what it was.

"Secretariat" tells the true story of Penny Chenery, who was torn between two worlds: her husband and kids and the family horse business. At a time when it wasn't acceptable, she left her kids in her husband's care a great deal of the time while she flew out of state to oversee the career of Secretariat, who went on to become a racing legend that won the Triple Crown.

Penny was definitely ahead of her time. "Secretariat afforded Penny the opportunity to know she could be the woman her dad always knew she could be," says Gray. "She wanted to be at both places at once, and she couldn't, but her husband was supportive in the end."

AJ Michalka of "Aly & AJ" fame plays Kate, Penny's daughter. "Penny and Kate had such a strong relationship, and Kate was so proud of her," AJ tells momlogic. "My mom and I also have a very close bond -- both my mom and Penny are very strong women."

Diane Lane, who brilliantly portrays Penny on the big screen, tells momlogic: "Penny said, 'Here's my life with my husband and my children, and I'm expected to pull it off with my hand tied behind my back.' As moms, we're often vilified for our ambitions. As a working mom, this movie was inspiring for me."

I asked Diane if the moment her on-screen daughter told Penny she was proud of her accomplishments was particularly poignant. "Yes! As a mom, you pray for the day you will be forgiven, be heard, and be understood," she says. "I'm keeping the faith!"

Director Randall Wallace says, "Diane brought that to the movie: 'I'm a daughter first, a mother second.' She treated the children like her children. They felt safe. Scenes convey an authenticity."

"Secretariat" is one of those rare movies that celebrates the working mom and encourages both SAHMs and working moms to follow their dreams. I can't wait to take my kids to see it and experience it again.


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